State legislators wrapped up the 2013 session this week without passing any new laws regulating water usage, but a task force is being formed to look into water funding concerns for farmers and ranchers.
Jay Rempe, a spokesman for the Nebraska Farm Bureau, says the state’s water issues need cost-effective solutions.
“Water management is critical and water is vital to agriculture in this state,” Rempe says. “This group that’s going to put together will look at funding needs and come up with some ideas on how to provide long-term, sustainable funding sources to address those needs.”
Rempe is the Farm Bureau’s vice president for government relations. He says another critical issue that must be addressed is fixing the state’s school funding formula which determines how much of our state tax dollars go to which schools.
“The formula needs some corrections because of what we’re seeing,” Rempe says. “There are, right now, 114 school districts in the state, most of them smaller, rural school districts, that are no longer receiving state aid, so there is some interest in looking at that as well, too.”
Rempe says the only real disappointment for his group this past legislative session was failure to repeal a tax on farm machinery and parts.
By Jerry Oster, WNAX, Yankton