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A Nebraskafied Twist on Legislature

Although Nebraskans believe in hard work why work harder when you can work smarter?

That is exactly what George W. Norris was thinking in 1934. He envisioned a legislature that took the basic idea of both houses and combined them into one. Thus the Unicameral was born. With only a fraction of the representatives bills were passed much more efficiently at a much lower cost. With only 49 Senators, one for each district, voting is a simple matter.

The current legislative process goes in this order
  • Bill is introduced by a Senator and assigned an LB number.
  • The Referral Committee assigns the bill to a Standing Committee.
  • A Public Hearing is held and the specifics of the bill are discussed and negotiated.
  • The Committee than makes the choice on whether to send the bill on to the floor or kill it.
  • If the bill makes it out of Committee it goes to General File where it is discussed and debated on and changes are made.
  • If the bill makes it out of General File it goes to Select File where it is again discussed and debated on and more changes are made.
  • If the bill makes it out of Select File it goes to Final Hearing where it is read one more time and than a final vote is made.
  • Bills that are passed go to the governor who can veto it, sign it, or simply do nothing. If it is vetoed it is sent back to the Unicameral and the veto can be overturned by a 3/5 majority. If nothing is done than the bill automatically becomes a law. If it is signed it will become a law within a specified timeframe.

The Speaker of the House decides which bills are debated on, and when. The current Speaker of the House is Mike Flood the representative from Madison County, the 16th legislative district.

For more on the Unicameral visit its official website here: http://nebraskalegislature.gov/