Nebraska State Legislature Information
How to Find Your State Senator & Learn More About Them
ELECTION INFORMATION, click here
If you’re looking for articles about the Nebraska Unicameral, click here for a list at the bottom of the page.
Information on the Nebraska Legislature – The Unicameral
Nebraska has a unique state legislature as compared to all other states; it is not a bicameral system with a House of Representatives and a Senate, it is a single legislative body. All members of the Nebraska legislature are Senators. Click HERE for additional information on the Unicameral and it’s history.
If you already know your State Senator’s name, click HERE for to see the list of State Senators with links to their individual district pages.
Note: If you want to follow in a step-by-step manner, it may be helpful for you to open up a separate, new window of your browser, so you don’t have to jump back and forth from tab to tab.
The snapshot below is in an interactive legislative district map on the Nebraska Legislature site that allows you to either zoom in and out to find your geographic area within the state OR you can simply enter your address in the lower right hand corner search box.
Once you’ve clicked the search, the map will show your location with a pin. Click on the pin and a picture of your State Senator will pop up.
If you click on the “More Info” link, you will be taken to the page for your State Senator.
The image below, is an example of a district page (District 27) on the Nebraska Legislature website. Obviously, the information most sought after by constituents is contact information, and it is located at the top right of the page (highlighted with a red square).
Note that the advice given here is based on the criteria we have developed from our philosophy and principles.
Important note about the Legislative District pages on the NE Legislature website: District pages are maintained for the district – in other words, the individuals who have been elected to represent each district are listed on that page, while they are in office, but when a new representative is elected, the page is changed.
While each district page is laid out identically and all contain some standard information, their appearance can vary based upon whether an individual Senator, while in office, posts information at all, or does so with frequency. Key differences in pages will be seen, specifically, regarding the number of “columns”, Press Releases, Events, and other postings made.
How much does a Senator attempt to inform citizens? What kind of information is posted?
Legislative District pages provide State Senators with the opportunity to communicate to their constituents and other citizens about their activities, their legislation, and happenings with government, generally.
One mark of a communicative, transparent representative then, is the provision of information through this official platform. What is the quantity, quality, and consistency of a legislators use of what is available to them?
The example page shown here below, that for District 27, which is currently represented by Senator Colby Coash, is actually one of the few pages we’ve seen with as much information as he has posted. As a side note, we wish many of this Senator’s votes were as consistent as the diligence put toward the postings on his district page. For a contrast in appearance in pages, and therefore, an example of a page that has the barest information, visit the page for District 18, which is currently represented by Omaha Senator Scott Lautenbaugh.
Research Tip: For citizens who wish to track State Senators’ actions, including the quantity, quality, and content of information provided by them on their District page and/or who wish to track differences between Senators, particularly over a long period of time, it might be advisable to take periodic snapshots because past material is not archived when a new representative is elected. If you are unfamiliar with how to take a snapshot, click here for keyboard shortcuts for Mac and Windows, or for “more power”; Mac, Windows.
Examining Legislation Introduced By a State Senator
To view a list of bills and resolutions introduced by a legislator, locate the “Resources” section (highlighted by a neon green square, above) of the right hand side bar on their District page. Click “Bills Introduced” (pointed out with red text and arrow) .
What appears on the Bills / Resolutions page
The example list of Bills and Resolutions, below, is a snapshot of the current page for District 18 (Scott Lautenbaugh). Note that this page, from our experience, only includes bills introduced in the most recent legislative session (a two year cycle – see more below).
The page indicates status, most of the definitions for which are self-explanatory, with the exception that “Indefinitely postponed” has a meaning dependent upon the timing of the two year Session cycle (see explanation, below). If you seek clarification on definitions, there is a glossary of terms on the Nebraska Legislature website – but note that the list is not exhaustive. A key definition missing, for instance, is missing: “Referral”, which in reference to a bill or resolution, means, generally, the legislation has moved on to the next phase in the process.
Obviously, bill / resolution status messages will vary, depending upon whether you visit that page during or between sessions AND depending upon the current point in a two year legislative cycle.
Nebraska’s Unicameral has a two year session, for example:
- 102nd Legislature, First Session: 2011 (90 Legislative days)
- 102nd Legislature, Second Session: 2012 (60 Legislative days)
- 103rd Legislature, First Session: Tentatively scheduled for January , 2013 – June , 2013 (90 Legislative days)
- 103rd Legislature, Second Session: Will begin the first Monday after the first Wednesday in January, and will adjourn, likely in mid-April (60 Legislative days)
Bills / resolutions introduced in the First Session are carried over to the Second Session, AND new bills / resolutions can be introduced in both. So, if you were to visit a District bill / resolution page in the summer of 2011, you would have seen bills listed that has been introduced in January 2011, but the status for which may show “Indefinitely postponed”, meaning that the bill / resolution may move on in the legislative process when the Unicameral reconvened in January of 2012.
A visit to the bill / resolution page AFTER the Second Session of a Legislature, however, would mean that any bill / resolution with “Indefinitely postponed” under “Status”, would not move farther in the legislative process. A Senator would have to re-introduce the measure as if new.
LB = Legislative Bill, which if passed, would repeal, alter, or create statutory language in the Revised Nebraska Statutes (governing law)
LR = Legislative Resolution – various types and depending upon language, requires different vote thresholds to pass. Can be a declaration of praise for a volleyball team, statement by Legislature having no actual impact or force of law, or could send a formal message to another branch of Nebraska government, other state legislature(s), or a branch of federal government
LR__CA = Legislative Resolution that proposes and amendment to the Nebraska Constitution
Note that every bill / resolution introduced in the Nebraska Legislature has its own page, and is linked to from the District bill / resolution page.
Examining Legislation Introduced
The nature of the legislative bills and resolutions introduced by a State Senator can tell a lot about their:
- Personal interests
- Independent decision making or lack thereof
In conjunction with the absolutely critical examination of campaign finance records, constituents / taxpayers can glean trends and recognize associations and relationships which may very well motivate their priorities and decision-making.
Unfortunately, in the course of our research, we have noticed four sources / motivations of legislation introduced consistently in Nebraska’s Unicameral:
- Political party / paid lobbyist / specific industry (not discernibly associated with Senator’s own career or business, see #4)
- Government bureaucracy
- Warm-fuzzies for specific constituencies, often having little to no practical effect or value, and mostly intended to motivate a politicians “base” of support
- Personal or family event which causes trauma, dismay, or concern and provokes a reactionary response by way of a bill being introduced OR career / business / industry in which Senator is personally involved which benefits directly or indirectly from legislation
More about Nebraska’s Legislature
The picture of the map, above, shows Nebraska’s legislative districts colored and numbered.
Legislative districts in the Omaha, Lincoln, area are too dense to visualize on a statewide map, and divisions in the Grand Island area also require additional detail. Click any of the images below for these areas to see a larger map.
Individual District Maps 1 – 49 can be downloaded (PDF format) from THIS PAGE.
You can read more about Committees on the NE Legislature site HERE.
The standing committee list can be found HERE.
When you visit a committees page, you will find a list of the Senators in each (see photo below), located on the upper right hand corner of the page. Each name is actually a link to the individual Senators’ pages on the NE Legislative site, just like the example from Sen. McGill’s page on the left, above.
Legislative Journal – a detailed chronicle of session events
Note: We are currently researching the history of Nebraska’s government, particularly as pertains to Nebraska’s Unicameral system and hope to publish a series of articles on the subject. Nebraska is the only American state with this one house system. We at GiN have become increasingly skeptical regarding the structure of this system as to whether it is embodies the principles of a republican (small “r”) form of government. The Unicameral system was “sold” at the time as constituting a more open, accessible, and responsive government. The people were to be “The Second House”.
While have not yet had the time to complete any specific articles on how the Unicameral system came into being, readers should note that the transformation from a bicameral to a unicameral legislature required extensive changes to the Nebraska Constitution.
When reading the Unicameral site’s history on this topic, we encourage people to keep in mind that the central figure behind the historical change from a bicameral legislative body to a unicameral body was George Norris. Norris’ impact on the state of Nebraska was significant and long-ranging. In addition to his influence on Nebraska, he was a player on the national political scene; he was in alignment with and an advocate of President Roosevelt’s New Deal policies, and a significant player in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
Finally, for the moment, when reading Norris’ philosophy of government and his vision for a Unicameral system, note that there are few Constitutional provisions which protect Nebraska citizens’ membership in “The Second House”. Those provisions include a requirement that every bill have a public hearing and the ballot initiative process. Through some statutory changes and court rulings, the accessibility of the initiative process has become increasingly narrow over time.
The video we’ve included below, was produced by Nebraska Public Television. It’s interesting and informative IF viewers take into account what is written above.
GiN archive of articles about or related to the Nebraska Legislature, particular legislation, and State Senators:
- The Lesser of Two Evils is Still Evil May 4, 2014
- Candidate Profile: Tom Carlson for Governor April 19, 2014
- Osborn/Sasse: Why Endorsements are Worthless . . . Mostly April 12, 2014
- Who’s Hate-filled and Bitter? Marriage, Domestic Partner Benefits & Fairness Ordinance August 23, 2013
- Not Really Adjourned: NE Legislature, Medicaid Expansion, ObamaCare June 11, 2013
- Senator Bob Krist Withdraws As Co-Introducer of Medicaid Expansion Bill (LB577) April 20, 2013
- Nebraska Medicaid Expansion: LB577 in Limbo April 18, 2013
- LB512 and Common Core — A Potential Threat to Local Control of Schools March 18, 2013
- It’s Funny? Even If Medicaid Expansion Saved Money, Citizens Wouldn’t See a Penny March 10, 2013
- Senator Nordquist Admits His Associations Appear Improper — Sorta March 6, 2013
- Are Nebraskans Giving In On ObamaCare? If so, why?! March 5, 2013
- NEGOP: Help us understand how you differ from Democrats March 1, 2013
- Unicameral’s Health Committee to Hear Medicaid Expansion Bill (LB577) Feb. 28th February 27, 2013
- Pelosian Economics: Medicaid Expansion as Fiscal Stimulus February 26, 2013
- The Myth of Nebraska’s Sovereignty Resolution (10th Amendment) February 22, 2013
- LB577: Nebraska’s Unaffordable Care Act February 20, 2013
- Projections re Cost of Medicaid Expansion: Too Good to Be True February 18, 2013
- Money for Nothing and Health Care for Free February 15, 2013
- Families Need Medicaid Like Fish Need Bicycles February 11, 2013
- Senator Jeremy Nordquist: Listens to His Master’s Voice . . . But Who’s His Master? February 9, 2013
- Congratulations! She’s Having His Baby . . . and You’re Paying for It! February 8, 2013
- Sending Granny (and Gramps) to the Home February 4, 2013
- People Don’t Walk Away From a Fool and His Money January 28, 2013
- Let’s See What Condition Our Condition Is In January 21, 2013
- NE Medicaid Expansion: The Race is On January 17, 2013
- Unicameral Finally Made Unlisted Tax Committee Legal After 30 Years November 13, 2012
- My Conversation with Sen. Pete Pirsch: Amendment No. 2 November 5, 2012
- VIDEO Exclusive: NE Teachers’ Union Wants “Pet” NE Senators to “Stay” November 5, 2012
- GiN 2012 Election Cheat Sheet (Voter Recommendations) November 5, 2012
- NE Teachers Union Funded Term Limit Extension Ads November 3, 2012
- NE Amendment No. 2: So Country Folks Can Survive November 2, 2012
- NE Term Limit Extension Sponsor Tom Carlson: Two Minds or a Forked Tongue? November 1, 2012
- NE Proposed Amendment No. 1: Vote AGAINST More Political Games October 26, 2012
- NE Ballots: Deciding How to Vote on Those Four Proposed Amendments October 24, 2012
- Douglas County, NE Official SAMPLE BALLOT for Nov. 6, 2012 October 24, 2012
- Official SAMPLE BALLOT: Lancaster County, NE November 6, 2012 October 23, 2012
- Join Us Oct. 28 or Nov. 1: Interactive Presentation – State Senators Term Limits and Salary Increases October 22, 2012
- Extend NE State Senator Term Limits? Proposed Amendment No. 3 October 19, 2012
- NE Amendment 4: Should State Senator Salaries Be Increased? October 17, 2012
- Senate Race Rope a Dope? Heineman, Bruning & Deb Fischer…and Stenberg May 15, 2012
- OPPONENT For Ernie Chambers, Brenda Council: Write in Susan Smith Tuesday Nebraska Unicameral D11 May 15, 2012
- NE Primary Election 2012: List of All Candidates, Debate Videos, more May 12, 2012
- Following the Jon Bruning Money Trail May 11, 2012
- VIDEO NE State Senators Debate & Vote LB599 Medicaid Expansion for Illegals April 23, 2012
- NE Legislature Passes Reckless Medicaid Expansion Providing Benefits to Illegal Immigrants April 19, 2012
- How NE Senators Voted: LB599 (and FUNDING) Veto Overrides April 19, 2012
- LB599 Veto Override: NE Senators Better Think It Over April 17, 2012
- Unicameral’s Bills, Bills, Bills Leave Nebraska in the Red and THIS Nebraskan Seeing Red April 16, 2012
- GiN Editorial in Journal Star: Governor needs to use LB599 veto to draw a line April 13, 2012
- Contacting Your Senator: LB599 Medicaid Expansion, Illegals April 11, 2012
- Legislative Irresponsibility: LB599, NE Budget & Health Care Law April 10, 2012
- LB599: The Procreation Protection and Affordable Sex Act April 5, 2012
- Deserving of Darts: NE Unicameral – Voter ID Bites the Dust April 1, 2012
- Health Care Reform: Republicans Helping Implementation (For Our Own Good) December 6, 2011
- The New National Past Time: Pipeline Hot Potato November 12, 2011
- So We Had A Resolution, Huh? Hmm. How IS That State Sovereignty Thing Workin’ Out For Us? November 8, 2011
- Is President Obama Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? November 5, 2011
- TransCanada Trojan Horse: Keystone XL Pipeline Will Increase Gas Prices November 2, 2011
- Jane Kleeb: Just a Talking Head or an Alinsky Wanna Be? October 16, 2011
- Nebraska Three Faces of Eve: Jane Kleeb – Farmer, Pundit, or Radical Leftist? October 14, 2011
- Environmental Religiousity: Dirty Dishes, Dim Bulbs and Eww! Ineffective Flushes October 9, 2011
- NE Unicameral on TransCanada Pipeline: Torturing Words, Logic & State Sovereignty October 7, 2011
- #1 Question for Lee Terry: What DID You Do With That 2010 CRS Report About Pipeline Authority? October 4, 2011
- Terribly Troubling Truths About TransCanada Pipeline – Nebraska: We Have A Problem September 30, 2011
- Political Influence in Nebraska: Where the Money Leads September 24, 2011
- NE Ruling Class and the Media – Lincoln Journal Star’s Don Walton September 23, 2011
- NEGOP Tried to Capitalize on Grassroots Candidate Loss & CIR Reform Failure September 14, 2011
- Nebraska’s Ruling Class and the Perils of (Assisted) Political Suicide September 11, 2011
- Prenatal Care Bills LB1110/LB599 – It’s NOT About Abortion Anymore July 28, 2011
- Senator Campbell: DON’T GO AWAY MAD. JUST GO AWAY. July 25, 2011
- $130k for School Diversity Manuals Just the Tip of Nebraska Stimulus $$$ Iceberg July 22, 2011
- Why Good People (or those who are trying to be) Are So Hard to Find in Politics June 25, 2011
- Collective Bargaining (CIR) Hearing Wed: Proposed Bill is NO REFORM AT ALL April 13, 2011
- Are the Elected Officials of Nebraska Dealing with Reality? April 12, 2011
- Collective Bargaining (CIR) Shell Bill Hearing WEDNESDAY April 13 April 11, 2011
- Nullification: Are States Sitting Ducks or Willing Accomplices? March 24, 2011
- Nullification: Are State Level Officials Really Opposed to Federal Encroachment? March 23, 2011
- Nullification Measures Not Stopping Health Care Implementation (Think Idaho) March 15, 2011
- Nullification NOT the Answer for Health Care (or anything else) March 13, 2011
- Want Collective Bargaining Reform in Nebraska? It is up to YOU March 8, 2011
- Counter-Rally Message: Taxpayers Not Represented at Collective Bargaining Table March 1, 2011
- GiN Press Release: Proponents of Collective Bargaining Reform to Counter-Rally Saturday at the State Capitol February 25, 2011
- RALLY SATURDAY FEB. 26 NOON: Show Support for Collective Bargaining Reform in NE February 25, 2011
- Collective Bargaining Bills Make Bad Political Theater at the Unicam (CIR) February 25, 2011
- Collective Bargaining Advocates Protect Their Own: Who Protects Taxpayers? February 24, 2011
- Too Many Opponents of Collective Bargaining Reform (CIR) in Nebraska Have a Horse in the Race February 23, 2011
- More Democrats on the Lam! Running From Another Union Bill February 22, 2011
- Laws and Sausages: A Day At the State Capitol February 11, 2011
- Comment on GiN Site Reveals Troubling Attitudes of Too Many February 10, 2011
- Hearing Testimony: Collective Bargaining By NE Govt Obstructs Spending Caps (CIR) February 9, 2011
- Important Informaton on CIR Hearings for Monday Feb 7! February 6, 2011
- NOT Suprising: Public Support Growing for Ending Collective Bargaining by Public Employees February 3, 2011
- Public Employee Unions: Breaking State and Local Budgets February 2, 2011
- ACTION ALERT: Big Turnout Needed At Capitol on Monday Feb. 7th February 1, 2011
- 10 Untold Truths About Health Care Law State Officials Hope You Miss January 29, 2011
- Reduce Government Budgets: Contact Senators About Worker Wages and Benefits January 28, 2011
- Budget Buster Fix: Prohibit Collective Bargaining By Public Employees January 26, 2011
- Sen. Kathy Campbell Just Wants to Talk About DOUBLING the Gas Tax January 25, 2011
- Creative Legislating 101 – XXX Tax Rates – Literally January 22, 2011
- Senator Haar Proves His Popular Vote Bill Is Ill-Advised January 21, 2011
- Lots of Legislation in the Unicameral: Are You Watching? January 21, 2011
- NE Senator Wants Popular Vote for Presidency January 20, 2011
- Extremism IS Dangerous: Politicization of Tragedy & Over-Reaction January 12, 2011
- GiN Meeting NEXT Monday Jan. 10: Taking Action During the Legislative Session January 5, 2011
- NE Public Employee Pay, Benefits: Even the Journal Star Sees Need for Reform December 20, 2010
- 47% of Nebraska Births Paid for By the State: Is that Good? December 3, 2010
- Deserving of Darts? Senator Amanda McGill & Personal Responsibility November 24, 2010
- NE Senators Meeting 11/17 Part 2: Voices Not Often Heard November 23, 2010
- A Toast For NE Senator Colby Coash November 18, 2010
- Nebraska Legislators To Meet TONIGHT in Lincoln November 17, 2010
- State Legislative District 8 Election Under Review November 9, 2010
- Nebraska Needs A State Treasurer! Vote NO on Amendment 2 (2010) October 28, 2010
- Nordquist Says Health Care Survey Responses Positive – Why? October 27, 2010
- ACTION ALERT: YOU Can Do Something About That Health Care Law October 24, 2010
- Implementing Health Care Law: Good For NE Or Nordquist? October 23, 2010
- Volunteer Opportunity: Affect NE Unicameral District 46 – Walk for Chad Wright SATURDAY October 22, 2010
- DOA or Resurrecting the Dead? Nordquist One World & LB1110 October 16, 2010
- What We Can Do To Stop Health Care: So Far It Is NOT Enough October 16, 2010
- Lancaster County Senators To Hold Town Hall Meeting Monday, October 26 October 15, 2010
- Jeremy Nordquist Confused About What Sustainable Means October 14, 2010
- Nebraska: We Have Our Very Own Community Organizer October 13, 2010
- Nebraska Deem & Pass? LB 1110 Proved Shenanigans Not Limited To Federal Government September 23, 2010
- Feds Gone Wild? Sure, But What About NE Officials? September 10, 2010
- Arizona Immigration Lawsuits & Nebraska Connections September 7, 2010
- Where Does Nebraska Get Its Money? September 3, 2010
- NE Budget: Senators Hope Feds Will Bail Us Out August 30, 2010
- ACTION ALERT: State Budget Meeting at Capitol Tuesday June 29 June 28, 2010
- Sovereignty Resolution Debate Likely Tuesday Call Your Senator Monday April 10, 2010
- URGENT ACTION Needed on Sovereignty Resolution and Health Care Amendment March 30, 2010
- February Sovereignty Efforts Are A Start Thanks to People of Nebraska March 29, 2010
- ACTION ALERT: Kill or NULLIFY the Health Care Bill Rally THIS Sunday March 21 March 19, 2010
- LB 1110 Another Conundrum Caused By Federal Government February 25, 2010
- Lincoln Journal Star Article on February 19 Sovereignty Hearing Requires Comments February 21, 2010
- Nebraska State Sovereignty Hearing FRIDAY with Rep. Charles Key (OK) to Testify February 18, 2010
- Thanks to GML-TV for the video! Support Nebraska Sovereignty February 17, 2010
- Detailed Information About Friday February 19 Hearing on LR 292 February 17, 2010
- LR 292 State Sovereignty Bullet Points and Committee Member Contact Information February 16, 2010
- Volunteer To Help With The Effort To Pass LR 292 Out of the Committee February 16, 2010
- Action Plan for Supporting Nebraska Sovereignty Resolution Febuary 15 Through 19th February 15, 2010
- L.R. 292 State Sovereignty Tenth Amendment Resolution Here Available on Scribd February 15, 2010
- SUPPORT Nebraska Sovereignty Mark Your Calendars For February 19th February 14, 2010
- Nebraska Sovereignty Bullet Points REASONS To Support the Tenth Amendment Resolution LR 292 February 14, 2010
- Sample Written Statements in Support of Sovereignty February 14, 2010
- Letter to Senator Campbell on McCoy’s Healthcare Nullification Bill February 14, 2010
- Senator Gwen Howard Gives Insight On LR289ca And Clarifies Why We Need Sovereignty Resolution February 6, 2010
- *URGENT Action Alert* Call Your NE State Senator NOW About Nullification February 4, 2010
- ACTION ALERT: Call your State Senator Friday AM February 4, 2010