A conservative Republican state senator originally appointed by Gov Pete Ricketts after serving on his reelection campaign has introduced a constitutional amendment ending Nebraska’s status as the only state with an officially nonpartisan Legislature.
Senator Julie Slama of Peru would strike Nebraska’s constitutional requirement that state legislative candidates appear on ballots with no party affiliation.
Many conservatives favor the idea, pushed hard by the state’s Republican leadership in recent years, as promoting transparency and helping pass popular measures that have stalled.
Progressives and some moderate lawmakers say Nebraska’s de-centralized Legislature allows lawmakers to think for themselves without direct pressure from party leaders and protects people whose beliefs are in the minority.
Slama’s measure is seen as facing an uphill battle in the Legislature with a filibuster likely, but if it does pass it would still need to be approved by voters in November.