Bill to change Neb. redistricting process advances

Apr 3, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lawmakers have advanced a bill that would overhaul Nebraska's process for drawing legislative and congressional districts.

Senators gave first-round approval Wednesday to a measure that would create an independent, bipartisan redistricting commission to propose new boundaries after each U.S. census. Lawmakers would select two members from each of Nebraska's congressional districts.

The measure would give lawmakers up to three up-or-down votes on new districts, after which the Nebraska Supreme Court would decide.

Senator Russ Karpisek says the current process leads to districts where incumbents have no incentive to compromise. Some rural senators say the system increases urban Nebraska's political clout.

Opponents say they have technical concerns about the bill, and argue that redistricting powers should remain with lawmakers.

The bill moved on a 25-12 vote. The bill is LB976.

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