Omaha Public Radio News
Wed May 11, 2011
Redistricting committee to present new maps Friday
By Paige Yowell, Nebraska News Service
Lincoln, NE – People in Columbus, Alliance, Hastings, McCook, North Platte, Norfolk, Omaha and Scottsbluff will have an opportunity to share their thoughts with Nebraska legislators on the redistricting process via video conference at the Redistricting Committee's May 13 hearings.
The hearings, scheduled for 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., will be available in several locations throughout the state to enable citizens who can't attend in Lincoln to offer testimony and interact with the committee.
The bills being discussed at both hearings would change the boundaries for the Public Service Commission, Board of Regents, State Board of Education, legislative and congressional districts.
Committee staff say the hearing room at the Capitol will be equipped with computer monitors that will show a live feed of four different locations at each hearing. A video camera and moderator will be set up in each location to allow people to testify before senators without being in the hearing room. In Omaha, a videoconference of the hearing will be broadcast at the State Office building, at 13th and Farnam Streets.
Legislators and their staff are expected to serve as moderators since May 13 is a recess day for the Legislature. Committee staff said the redistricting rules require a hearing to be held in each congressional district. A video conference of the hearing accomplishes that and more.
The committee staff will also be mailing hard copies of the proposed district maps to each location and they will be available on the redistricting website at www.news.legislature.ne.gov/red/.
The public is welcome to testify at any of the locations. A video conference of the 9 a.m. hearing will also be available at Northeast Community College in Norfolk and the Columbus Public Library.
Redistricting committee staff said the committee would allow for 30 minutes of testimony at each location depending on the number of people attending.