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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

The state's airplane purchase

Monday, May 13, 2013

To purchase, to lease, or to study? That is the question the Legislature addressed this last week regarding the Governor's request in the budget to purchase the Beechcraft Super King Air airplane from the University of Nebraska Foundation.

Friday, May 10, the Legislature answered that question by amending the budget to give a third party a chance to study further what would be the best cost effective approach to meet the needs of the Governor. The vote was 26-14 to remove the $2 million appropriation.

Currently, the Governor has been leasing the King Air from the foundation. The Governor did a study and felt that this plane was the best choice for their continuing air travel needs. Though my personal preference is to buy new, I am not in favor of spending additional money to start from scratch on a brand new study. The first right to purchase the plane was given to the Governor, and was opened in January and closes June 1; an additional study risks losing the opportunity to purchase the King Air, and extends this process another 60 to 90 days beyond this date.

Moreover, I began to realize that those in favor of another study really weren't against purchasing a plane in favor of leasing, they were really just politicizing the issue to go after the Governor. This is why I voted against the amendment to remove the appropriation and spend money on another study, which will likely not give us any new information.

If you have any questions or comments, contact my office. Mark R. Christensen, PO Box 94604, Lincoln, NE 68509, 402-471-2805 or mchristensen@leg.ne.gov.

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State Sen. Mark Christensen
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