Governor signs bill supporting NExT Project

August 21, 2020

Image with caption: Governor Pete Ricketts and Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, chancellor of UNMC and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, display a copy of LB 1107.

Governor Pete Ricketts and Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, chancellor of UNMC and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, display a copy of LB 1107.

Thursday, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts hosted a ceremonial bill signing for LB 1107 on the north steps of the State Capitol.

The bill, which delivers property tax relief to Nebraskans through refundable income tax credits, supports Nebraska's bid for a major federal investment in UNMC's NExT Project by providing state support for an academic medical facility to help the United States address future pandemics and other disasters. The project would enhance UNMC's position as a national leader in medical research and hazard response, and it has the potential to create 8,700 great-paying jobs.

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From left, Chancellor Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, Sen. Mark Kolterman and Heath Mello at the signing event.

The governor was joined at the ceremony by state senators and leaders from Nebraska agriculture, business and education.

Jeffrey P. Gold, MD, chancellor of UNMC and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, was on hand for the signing.

"We are pleased to see the state's commitment to funding for the NExT project included in today's signing," Dr. Gold said. "This visionary public-private partnership not only will have an immense economic impact to our state-with nearly $8 billion in estimated economic impact just during its construction period alone-but as a state-of-the-art academic medical center facility and federal all-hazard disaster response military-civilian partnership, its impact will be national, even global, once it is completed. The state commitment is a critically important step."

University of Nebraska President Ted Carter also spoke in support of the governor's action.

"The NExT project is one of the most exciting and ambitious economic development proposals in Nebraska's history, made possible by UNMC's world-class expertise and the support of elected, business and philanthropic leaders across the state," Carter said. "I am particularly grateful to Gov. Ricketts and Sen. (Mark) Kolterman for their leadership in carrying this proposal forward. The Legislature's commitment of state support for NExT is a critical step toward making this public-private partnership a reality. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners on this important effort."

Sen. Kolterman of Seward said he was proud to be part of the bill. The bill also advances the governor's top priority of property tax relief and reforms and renews Nebraska's business tax incentives.

"More important than any individual piece of this package is the fact that a group of individual senators from across our entire state with different backgrounds, thoughts, and political philosophies were able to come together and find enough common ground to move forward a bill that serves our entire state," Sen. Kolterman said.

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