CHICAGO -- A measure that would allow Nebraska to issue bonds for highway construction advanced last week despite an eight-hour filibuster aimed at derailing the bill.
Legislative Bill 902 would allow the state to issue up to $200 million of bonds for road projects, the first time the state would borrow for road projects since 1969.
Opponents filibustered the bill for eight hours on March 26, according to local reports.
Legislators voted to end the debate, then passed the measure 32-14. The bill still needs to be voted on two more times. Nebraska has a unicameral Legislature, the only one in the country.
Sen. Annette Dubas, D-Fullerton, introduced the road funding legislation. It would allow the state to issue up to $200 million of bonds -- down from the original $400 million -- over the next 20 years to finance road projects. No new money bonds could be issued after 2020.
The bonds would be backed by the state's motor vehicle fuel taxes and motor vehicle registration fees. Since 2011, the state also diverts 0.25% of the sales tax to fund construction projects.
The measure calls for the debt to be special obligations of the state, which enjoys a AAA issuer credit rating from Standard & Poor's. Nebraska does not issue general obligation bonds.
Nebraska first allowed highway bonding in 1969, and issued only $20 million at the time.