Nebraska lawmakers advance new $8.8 billion state budget

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LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska lawmakers have given initial approval to a proposed $8.8 billion two-year budget despite major disagreements over funding for the University of Nebraska and family-planning services, including Planned Parenthood.

Lawmakers on Tuesday advanced all three of the budget measures that make up the package, even as many senators raised concerns that state officials are relying too much on their emergency cash reserve. Two additional votes are required before the bills go to Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Much of the debate focused on a budget provision that would prevent health clinics from getting federal Title X funding if they offer abortions. If it passes, clinics would have to maintain "physical, financial and legal separation" between their abortion operations and other services.

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