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Heineman: $2.2M plane needed to reach rural towns

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Gov. Dave Heineman says his $2.2 million budget request to buy an airplane from the University of Nebraska Foundation is needed to reach rural parts of the state quickly.

Heineman argued Monday that the plane ensures that he and other state officials are accessible to residents when needed. He says a state-owned plane is more cost-efficient than relying on a charter service.

The plane is a Beechcraft Super King Air plane. It is owned by the foundation but also serves the governor, agency heads and other state officials. The foundation has decided to sell the plane.

The Legislature's Appropriations Committee has so far declined to include the plane in its proposed two-year budget. Some members have said they aren't yet persuaded that it's necessary.

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