State Senator proposes selling or privatizing MUD

Jan 8, 2014

A state Senator from Omaha says he’ll introduce a bill to sell or privatize the Metropolitan Utilities District.

Nebraska lawmakers return to session Wednesday. State Senator Scott Lautenbaugh says the bill he’ll introduce could bring in up to $3 billion. That money would go toward Omaha’s combined sewer overflow project and unfunded pension liabilities.  

Lautenbaugh says his bill isn’t about MUD directly, but rather about a way to find critical funding the city needs.

"There aren’t really any painless ways to do that. MUD happens to be an asset that’s owned by the citizens and is worth about three billion dollars, hopefully. The other choice would be massive tax increases, or layoffs of a kind that really, actually, that wouldn’t work because this is well in excess of the annual budget of the city. There aren’t a lot of good options."

Lautenbaugh says he’ll also introduce a measure authorizing charter schools in Nebraska, something he says has “long been a priority.”