Today the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature passed LB 580, a bill that would create a nine-person independent citizens commission tasked with redrawing congressional and state legislative districts after each census. The final tally was 29-15 in favor. Currently, legislators are responsible for drawing their own districts and congressional boundaries. The bill will land on Gov. Pete Ricketts’ desk no later than Tuesday, April 19. He has not indicated whether he will sign the bill.
The commission would include five individuals who are a member of the party whose gubernatorial candidate won the previous election and four individuals whose party came in second. This legislation would put in place strong conflict-of-interest provisions that prohibit from the commission individuals with a personal or professional stake in the drawing of districts. The following individuals are prohibited from serving on the commission:
- Those who have been registered lobbyists within the last year;
- Elected or political party officials;
- Relatives or employees of Members of Congress or state elected officials
- Employees of the University of Nebraska; and
- Political candidates.
Congratulations to Common Cause Nebraska, the Nebraska League of Women Voters, Bold Nebraska, Nebraskans for Civic Reform, and the Nebraska Farmers Union for their work to make this happen.