LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) -- Nebraska lawmakers would like to help young people get started in farming or another small business, but they're not sure the state can afford to do so this year.

The Legislature voted Wednesday morning to advance a bill (LB297) state Sen. Annette Dubas of Fullerton proposed to help provide financing for young farmers, ranchers or businesspeople.

The bill would allow the state to lend money to banks at a low interest rate to spur loans for budding businesses.

Several senators expressed concerns the bill would tie up $2 million of state money each year for such loans, despite the tepid economy and lean state budget.

Advancing the bill will allow senators to get a revised estimate of the measure's cost.

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On the Net:

Nebraska Legislature: www.nebraskalegislature.gov

Copyright 2010 The AP.

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