Debate over state airplane resurfaces in Nebraska Legislature

May 9, 2013

Debate over the pending purchase of a $2.2 million airplane by the state resurfaced in the Legislature Wednesday during discussion on the main budget bill.

The Nebraska Department of Aeronautics has requested funds to buy the 12-year-old, twin-engine aircraft from the University of Nebraska Foundation.

The proposed purchase has raised concerns among some senators that a comprehensive study to determine the most cost-effective approach to address the state’s air transport needs was not done.

Senators voiced some of those concerns on the floor of the Legislature after Senator Bob Krist of Omaha introduced an amendment to the budget bill that would require the Department of Aeronautics to create a preventative maintenance fund and a replacement fund for any state-owned aircraft purchased after May 1st of this year.

Krist withdrew his amendment before it was brought to a vote, saying that if the plane was purchased, he would reintroduce the amendment as a bill in the next legislative session.

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