Nebraska Democrats are preparing for their second presidential caucus.
The caucus happens statewide this Saturday. In 2008, the Nebraska Democratic Party held its first caucus, and supported President Obama.
Democratic Party chairman Vic Covalt says the caucus gave Nebraska a role in the nominating process. "We went to the caucus because we wanted to help decide who the President would be, and the Nebraska caucus in February 2008 was the first of 11 straight small-state wins that gave Obama the edge that ultimately led to his victory in the Democratic nomination."
Early voting for Nebraska's May 15th primary election begins Monday.
Redistricting means there are fewer polling places in Douglas and Sarpy counties. Douglas County Election Commissioner Dave Phipps says voters can come to the election commission office and cast an early ballot, pick up a ballot, or request one by mail.
Sarpy County Election Commissioner Wayne Bena says about 30 percent of registered voters voted early in the 2008 general election. He expects it’ll be higher this election cycle.
Sarpy County voters will have fewer polling places in May.
Election Commissioner Wayne Bena says redistricting resulted in Sarpy County losing 20 polling places. Originally 71, the county now has 51 polling places and 52 precincts.
Bena says cards have been sent to voters with their new polling place information. He says the county also has a new polling place finder map on its website. “What this will allow people to do is to type in their address, and it’ll show you a map of where your house is to where your polling site is, and will give you driving directions as well.”
Senator Scott Lautenbaugh, the bill’s sponsor, pulled the measure Tuesday night after other lawmakers threatened to filibuster it. Lautenbaugh’s legislation originally called for reducing the board to five members. It was amended to seven. The bill has been sent back to the Unicameral's Government, Military, and Veterans' Affairs Committee.
The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule by the end of June on President Obama’s health care overhaul law.
Justices heard three days of arguments from the U.S. Solicitor General and from Attorneys General who sued to have the health care law thrown out. 26 states, including Nebraska, are part of the lawsuit.
An amended version of Governor Dave Heineman’s tax cut plan is awaiting second-round debate in the Unicameral.
The tax cut plan passed the first round of debate earlier this week. Governor Dave Heineman originally called for $327 million dollars worth of tax cuts over three years. In addition to income taxes, the plan would’ve cut corporate income taxes and ended the state’s inheritance tax.
Senator Lavon Heidemann, chairman of the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee, says the amended plan is now $97.2 million. The inheritance tax remains part of state law.
Voters in Nebraska’s Second Congressional District have opportunities Thursday and Friday to hear from the candidates.
The Sierra Club of Nebraska is sponsoring a candidate forum Thursday at First United Methodist Church in Omaha. The forum will focus on environmental issues and public transportation. Democratic candidates Gwen Howard and John Ewing, and Republican candidates Jack Heidel and Glenn Freeman, will participate in tonight’s forum.
The Nebraska Republican Party is challenging Democratic Senate candidate Bob Kerrey’s candidacy in court.
GOP officials filed the lawsuit Tuesday afternoon in Lancaster County District Court. It’s in response to Secretary of State John Gale’s ruling last Friday that Kerrey can remain on the ballot. Kerrey registered to vote February 28th in Douglas County, and declared his candidacy the next day.
Nebraska Republican Party chairman Mark Fahleson says they want an expedited review of Gale’s ruling, and Kerrey’s name removed from the ballot.