Gas prices likely to drop in December|
Gas prices will likely drop during the next few weeks and may bottom out below three-dollars a gallon in Nebraska, according to a report from Triple-A. Gail Weinholzer, the motor club's Nebraska spokeswoman, says it's nothing out of the ordinary, as gas prices typically reach a low for the year in mid-December. While Nebraska's averaging $3.11 a gallon, that's 15-cents cheaper than the national average. Prices in Hastings and the tri-city area are the lowest in the state, averaging $3 even, some pumps still sitting at $2.99 while North Platte has the highest prices at $3.22
Heineman cancels study of climate change|
Gov. Dave Heineman has canceled a Legislature-approved study on climate change, saying it would duplicate research work by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Heineman said in a letter Tuesday to members of the Legislature that the move will eliminate $44,000 from the budget that was appropriated for the study. Researchers at the university's Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources say their study, which involves reviewing others' work, will focus on identifying any human causes to climate change. They've set aside $20,000 for the study. That is in contrast to the state study, which was modified to require that only natural causes to climate change be examined. Some university scientists had expressed concern about the scope of the Legislature-approved study. The university study is expected to be finished by next September.
Douglas County extends employee benefits to same-sex marriages |
Douglas County says it will extend benefits to same-sex spouses of employees who were legally married in other states. The County Board voted Tuesday to change the definition of an eligible spouse so it can include someone who is the same gender as the employee. The new definition covers all benefits including health insurance. The county will briefly reopen its enrollment period to accommodate the newly eligible spouses. Benefits would begin Jan. 1. The county is self-insured. The City of Omaha recently said it would not offer health insurance and dental benefits to spouses of legally married gay employees. The Omaha police union has filed a grievance in response.
Tax Modernization Committee struggling with state tax system|
State lawmakers working on the Tax Modernization Committee are discovering how difficult it is to change the state tax system.