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Bill to allow port authorities in Nebraska wins 1st approval

March 24, 2021 GMT

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — A bill that would let Nebraska’s larger cities create port authorities along rivers, major rail lines and interstates won first round-approval Wednesday from lawmakers as a way to promote economic development.

Lawmakers voted 44-0 to advance the measure through the first of three required votes.

The bill by Sen. Justin Wayne, of Omaha, would allow mid-sized and large cities to create port authorities that would help develop large, shovel-ready commercial and industrial sites. The number of port authorities would be capped at five statewide.

If local governments choose to create them, inland port authorities would be able to develop public infrastructure and other improvements needed to help attract businesses. They also would have taxing power and the ability to issue bonds and accept state funding.