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Nebraska's Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education

Commission saves taxpayers millions through capital construction review process

The Coordinating Commission typically saves Nebraska taxpayers millions of dollars a year by reviewing capital construction projects at the state's public postsecondary institutions.

The Nebraska Constitution requires the commission to review, monitor and approve or disapprove capital construction projects that use more than $2 million in tax funds to construct facilities, or more than $85,000 per year in tax funds to operate and maintain. Disapproved projects cannot receive state funds for construction or ongoing operating and maintenance costs.

From July 1, 2008 through July 1, 2012, the commission reviewed 16 capital construction project proposals by the institutions. Of these requests, one was withdrawn by the institution and one project’s budget was reduced by $2.4 million. Additionally, after commission review two projects eliminated state funding requests for operating and maintenance costs totaling about $1.5 million a year.

The commission also reviews revenue bond projects and makes recommendations to the Legislature regarding their approval or disapproval. From July 1, 2008 through July 1, 2012, the commission reviewed 13 such projects and recommended that the Legislature approve 12. The commission recommended disapproval of one project with a $4.7 million budget. In addition, after its review one project was revised to reduce the project budget request by $900,000.