For the last 86 years, Nebraska has had a non-partisan and one-house Legislature, but that might change soon
LINCOLN, Nebraska — Nebraska has had a nonpartisan and single-house legislature for the past 86 years.
This is why state senators in Nebraska do not have R or D next to their name. However, a recent legislative proposal by the Nebraska Republican Party intends to change this.
Todd Watson, the political director of the Nebraska Republican Party, thinks that the body is already polarized.
Watson stated, “To pretend differently may seem lovely to others, but in reality, especially on crucial votes, you don’t see a lot of party-line votes.”
The Nebraska Unicameral has been technically nonpartisan for years, with no formal caucuses. Conservative Republicans have retained power, but Democrats have been able to thwart certain measures through the use of the filibuster.
This previous year, filibustered proposals included abortion restrictions, constitutional carry, and school choice legislation.
Watson stated that a small group has censored a great deal of information.
The recently disclosed NE GOP Legislative Plan, which was produced and approved by the party’s central committee, reveals the party’s intention to partisanize the Unicameral and make filibustering more difficult.
The change would also let one party to lead each committee.
Watson stated, “many crucial topics are continuously delayed because certain committees are never convened.”
Megan Hunt, a state senator, acknowledges that a number of contentious topics have been decided by party-line votes, but she asserts that they do occasionally compromise. Some Democrats helped pass tax cuts, while some Republicans helped Democrats pass a record-setting spending plan for North Omaha.
She stated that if they were partisan, each vote would be divided along Republican and Democratic lines.
“Nebraska’s lawmakers are truly able to think independently, apply critical thinking, and not simply check a box,” stated Hunt.
Hunt frequently boasts about the nonpartisan legislature in Nebraska. She claims that it is a political testing ground.
In contrast to other states, Nebraska has a great deal of collaboration and compromise possibilities, according to Hunt.
Nonetheless, according to Hunt, the unicameral could turn partisan in the future, as standards have already begun to weaken.
In addition to restricting abortion, establishing voter ID requirements, and transitioning to a winner-take-all system for presidential elections, the NEGOP legislative plan also included these provisions.
As usual, the party also seeks tax reductions.
Watson remarked, “When you examine us on a regional scale, we are in a precarious position.” We have an extremely high tax burden.