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      Nebraska Lawmakers Inch Toward Key Budget Vote

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      LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Lawmakers are inching toward a key vote on Nebraska's main two-year budget bill.

      Debate on the bill slowed to a crawl Wednesday as senators took aim at relatively small items in the proposed $7.8 billion spending plan.

      Some lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to cut $300,000 that was set aside for Nebraska weather-data collection. They also questioned a $500,000 budget increase for a nurse home-visitation program designed for children who are at risk of child abuse.

      The Legislature has already given first-round approval to two salary bills, one for state lawmakers and another for elected officials who are listed in the state constitution.

      Once approved, the new state budget will go into effect on July 1.

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