Boosting alcohol enforcement bill hits budget hurdle

2013-04-11T11:00:00Z 2013-04-11T19:35:05Z Boosting alcohol enforcement bill hits budget hurdleThe Associated Press The Associated Press
April 11, 2013 11:00 am  • 

An effort to boost state-level alcohol enforcement in Nebraska is colliding with budget realities in the Legislature.

Sen. Russ Karpisek of Wilber presented a bill (LB579) Thursday to increase the number of Nebraska State Patrol officers who would focus primarily on alcohol-law enforcement.

The patrol has 477 sworn officers, the lowest number since 1986. Karpisek said the number of alcohol licenses has surged during that time.

Lawmakers spent the morning debating the proposal's costs without reaching a vote. Some questioned whether they should commit money specifically for alcohol-law investigators, as opposed to giving the State Patrol more money for officers in general.

Karpisek has scaled back his original proposal from 15 officers to 10, and he said that number is still fluid.

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