During the 2015 session of the Nebraska Unicameral, Bold Nebraska is working with partner organizations including Nebraskans for Civic ReformNebraska AppleseedCommon Cause Nebraska, Center for Rural AffairsNebraska Wildlife Federation, Nebraska Farmers Union , ACLU of Nebraska and Nebraska Sierra Club to bring you informed coverage of bills under consideration, and actions you can take like testifying at the Capitol, or calling and emailing state senators. (Thanks to Bold Nebraska intern Andrew Novak for helping compile this year’s bill tracking!)

(image via Flickr user MCAD Library)


You can watch live gavel-to-gavel coverage of the Nebraska Unicameral in session via NET Nebraska:

  • TV: tune to NET Television‘s NET2 World channel
  • Radio: NET Radio listeners can hear legislative highlights of each weekday session at 5:30 p.m. CT during “All Things Considered,” as well as at 7:06 a.m. CT during “Morning Edition.”
  • Web: Live streaming video coverage of the Unicameral in session available at this link. You can then choose the Senate floor or a hearing room.
  • Mobile: Access live and on-demand video of the Unicameral via the Nebraska Capitol Live Mobile App.
  • Twitter: The hashtag is #neleg


Renewable Energy Tax Credit (LB 423) | Hearing Date: April 20

Introduced by Sen. Nordquist, LB 423 provides a tax credit for producers of renewable electric energy. The bill reforms renewable energy tax credit calculations for community-based energy development projects.


  • The bill would simplify the process for calculating renewable electric tax credits, increasing the likelihood of renewable energy development.
  • Includes option to receive a one-time credit that covers thirty percent of the cost of construction of a renewable electric energy facility.

ACTIONCall and e-mail your state senator, and urge them to support LB 423 to boost renewable energy in Nebraska.

Eminent Domain (LB 473) | Hearing Date: March 11

Introduced by Sen. Chambers, LB 473 would ban companies, corporations, persons, and associations from exercising eminent domain to construct a major oil pipeline. LB 472 would overturn LB 1161, the pipeline siting law whose constitutionality is being challenged in court by Nebraska landowners. 


  • Overturning LB 1161 would remove the unconstitutional delegation to the governor of the decision to permit the exercise of eminent domain.
  • The proposed bill would block large companies like TransCanada from taking Nebraskans’ land to construct pipelines.
  • The bill would be a monumental victory for farmers, ranchers, and tribes who have fought to protect the land in the path of the Keystone XL Pipeline.

ACTION: Please send a handwritten note to thank Sen. Chambers for standing with farmers, ranchers, tribes in the path of Keystone XL and all of us against eminent domain for private gain:

Senator Ernie Chambers
District 11
Room #1114
P.O. Box 94604
Lincoln, NE 68509

Contact the Committee: The members of the Judiciary Committee, which will hear this bill, need to hear from you. Please call and email these State Senators asking them to support Sen. Chambers’ bill against eminent domain abuse.

Send a letter to all committee members: Judiciary Committee, Room 1103, State Capitol, Lincoln NE 68509

Send an email to all committee members (copy and paste into your email): lseiler@leg.ne.gov; ccoash@leg.ne.gov; lebke@leg.ne.gov; bkrist@leg.ne.gov; amorfeld@leg.ne.gov; ppansingbrooks@leg.ne.gov; mwilliams@leg.ne.gov

WATCH: Sen. Chambers discusses the Eminent Domain bill (LB 473) with NET Nebraska:

Fracking Waste Control (LB 512) | Hearing Date: March 11

Introduced by Sen. Stinner, LB 512 would give the Nebraska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission the authority to monitor and regulate wastewater from oil and gas well production (fracking). We recognize the bill does not go far enough to set standards or conduct proper studies, and another regulatory agency may be better equipped to manage these issues. 


  • The bill would give the commission authority to regulate wastewater produced by other states and injected into commercial salt-water injection wells in Nebraska.
  • Fracking regulation could help minimize damage to water and soil under the surface of the earth, which creates toxic conditions and heightened seismic activity.

ACTION: Call and e-mail your state senator, as well as members of the Natural Resources Committee, and urge them to support regulation of fracking wastewater disposal in Nebraska.

  • Chair. Sen. Ken Schilz (402) 471-2616 kschilz@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Curt Friesen (402) 471-2630 cfriesen@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Dan Hughes (402) 471-2805 dhughes@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Jerry Johnson (402) 471-2719 jjohnson@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Rick Kolowski (402) 471-2327 rkolowski@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. Brett Lindstrom (402) 471-2618 blindstrom@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. John McCollister (402) 471-2622 jmccollister@leg.ne.gov
  • Sen. David Schnoor (402) 471-2625 dschnoor@leg.ne.gov

Redistricting Act (LB 580) | Hearing Date: Executive Board

Introduced by Sen. Murante, LB 580 authorizes an independent commission to reform district lines in Nebraska based on population proportionality. The redistricting process aims to eliminate boundaries that favor one party, officeholder, individual, or group.


  • Commission members will not have access to political party affiliations or previous election results, establishing equitable districts.

ACTION: Contact members of the Executive Board of the Legislative Council and urge them to support LB 580 for a fair redistricting process.

Voter ID (LB 111, 121) | Hearing Date: Friday, Jan. 23

UPDATE (2/18/15): LB 111 DEFEATED

UPDATE (1/23/15): Nebraskans pack public hearing to argue voter ID bill (Associated Press, 1/23/15)

Introduced by Sen. Larson, LB 111 would require voters to show a government-issued photographic identification before they are issued a ballot, unless the voter casts a provisional ballot.


  • There is still no evidence of impersonation at polling locations being a problem, which the Secretary of State has confirmed.
  • Requiring photographic identification creates a barrier for many mobile, young, and low-income potential voters.
  • Provisional ballots do not guarantee that the vote will be counted, and often times a large portion of provisional ballots are rejected.

Introduced by Sen. Schumacher, LB 121 would also require government-issued photographic identification voter to cast a ballot, with two exceptions. The voter can agree to being photographed by the election commissioner or county clerk, or the voter could receive certification from a pollworker if the voter is “personally known” by the pollworker.


  • The exceptions for this bill do not open the barrier for many voters that voter ID laws target.

ACTIONCall and e-mail your state senator, as well as members of the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, and urge them to oppose the needless and harmful “Voter ID” bills, LB 111 and LB 121.

Equality Agenda LGBT Bills (LB 586, 658, 647) | Hearing Date: Wednesday, Feb. 4 1:30 p.m. (Room 1113)

Thanks to Nebraska State Senators Adam Morfeld, Sara Howard and Jeremy Nordquist for introducing bills aimed at extending workplace protections to the LGBT community, remove discriminatory limitations on the rights of same-sex couples and other unmarried pairs to adopt children or become foster parents, and eliminate discrimination towards gay and lesbian foster parents regardless of relationship status.

Introduced by Sen. Morfeld, LB 586 would add sexual orientation and gender identity to the classes protected from discrimination in employment under state law.


Introduced by Sen. Howard, LB 648 would allow same-sex couples and other unmarried pairs to adopt children.


Introduced by Sen. Nordquist, LB 647 would allow same-sex couples and other unmarried pairs to become foster parents, and end discrimination towards gay and lesbian foster parents regardless of relationship status.



DREAMer Driver’s Licenses (LB 623) | Hearing Date: March 3, Transportation Committee

Introduced by Sen. Jeremy Nordquist, this bill would clarify Nebraska’s driver’s license policy to allow young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children – known as “DREAMers” – to apply for driver’s licenses.  Nebraska currently is the ONLY state that does not allow these young immigrants to receive driver’s licenses.


  • Via Nebraska Appleseed: This bill is good for everyone’s public safety and will allow young Nebraskans to contribute their talents more fully to our communities and economy.


Contact the Committee: The members of the Transportation Committee, which will hear this bill, need to hear from you. Please call and email these State Senators asking them to support Sen. Nordquist’s bill.