Supreme Court ruling won't affect Cowboy Trail
Thursday, 20 March 2014 07:09
According to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, a recent Supreme Court ruling on the ownership of abandoned railways won't affect Nebraska's Cowboy Trail.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that after a railroad has abandoned a line, the land should revert to owners of the adjacent property instead of to the federal government. Some fear the ruling threatens Rails to Trails projects across the country built on abandoned railways.
The Cowboy Trail, however, is built on land that has been railbanked, rather than abandoned. When a trail is railbanked, it may be developed into a trail but the railroad retains the right to convert it back into a rail line.
The Rails to Trails Conservancy purchased the right-of-way for the 321-mile stretch of land between Norfolk and Chadron in the early 1990s from the Chicago and NorthWestern Transportation Company. The Conservancy gave the right-of-way to the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission in 1993. Since then, Game and Parks has worked to develop and maintain 196 miles of the trail between Norfolk and Valentine for walking, running, bicycling and horseback riding.
Nebraska - Medicaid Expansion
Wednesday, 19 March 2014 12:14
A proposal to expand health care coverage to low-income Nebraskans won't make it out of the Legislature this year.
Lawmakers lacked enough support to bring the measure to a vote after eight hours of debate. The bill will not be taken up again in this legislative session.
The "Wellness in Nebraska Act" laid out a plan to help cover health care costs for about 54,000 residents through a combination of Medicaid and subsidized private health insurance. It would have cost an estimated $62 million between July of this year and June 2020.
Supporters argued the proposal would have helped rural hospitals and working Nebraskans. But opponents who successfully blocked further consideration said it would have diverted money away from other priorities, such as education.