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Grant pool for nonprofit projects trimmed to $15 million

Grant pool for nonprofit projects trimmed to $15 million

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LINCOLN — Nebraska lawmakers gave second-round approval Thursday to a plan for setting aside $15 million to help nonprofits complete capital construction projects interrupted by the pandemic.

Legislative Bill 566, the Shovel-Ready Capital Recovery and Investment Act, advanced to the final round of consideration after lawmakers trimmed its cost. State Sen. Mike McDonnell of Omaha, the bill’s sponsor, proposed the change to win support for the measure.

The prior version of the bill would have set aside $25 million of state dollars, along with $75 million of federal coronavirus relief dollars, to provide grants to groups involved with the arts, culture and humanities and nonprofits operating sports complexes.

The new version cut the state portion by $10 million and left the federal amount to be decided next year when lawmakers appropriate the $1 billion that is expected from the latest federal relief measure.

Numerous nonprofits across Nebraska have expressed interest in potentially applying for grants to help fund projects, including the Joslyn Art Museum’s plan for a new modern art wing, the Henry Doorly Zoo’s new penguin exhibit and multisport facilities in Tranquility Park and La Vista.

The amount of each grant would be based on the size of the project. Nonprofits would have to match the grants with at least an equal amount of privately raised dollars.

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Martha Stoddard keeps legislators honest from The World-Herald's Lincoln bureau, where she covers news from the State Capitol. Follow her on Twitter @StoddardOWH. Phone: 402-670-2402

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