Nebraska senators debate redistricting overhaul

Mar 21, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers are considering an overhaul of the state's process for drawing legislative and congressional districts.

Lawmakers began debate Thursday on a bill that would create an independent, bipartisan redistricting commission to propose new boundaries after each U.S. census. Lawmakers would appoint one Democrat and one Republican from each of Nebraska's congressional districts.

Modeled after a system in Iowa, the measure would give lawmakers up to four up-or-down votes on new districts, after which the Nebraska Supreme Court would decide.

Senator Russ Karpisek of Wilber 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 the commission could end up cutting senators out of their own districts.

The bill is LB976.

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