LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers gave initial approval Wednesday to a grant program for small businesses that are hit by natural disasters, pandemics or other emergencies, but it won’t get any money this year.

The bill advanced, 32-0, through the first of three required votes in the Legislature.

Sen. Anna Wishart, of Lincoln, said she introduced the measure to help local businesses that face future hardships beyond their control. Wishart said it was inspired by assistance that went to businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Business groups support the measure, but some lawmakers questioned whether it was necessary. The original measure would have included $20 million in funding, but that portion was stripped out of the bill before lawmakers advanced it. If approved, the program would exist with no funding until money is allocated for it.