Neb Democratic Party State Convention This Weekend, Dawes Co Party Offers Chance To Sign Initiative Petitions


    The Nebraska Democratic Party State Convention is in Hastings today through Sunday.

Delegates will vote on party business throughout the weekend including choosing the national delegates to attend the Democratic National Convention from August 19th to 22nd in Chicago. 

   Meanwhile, the Dawes County Democratic Party will be at the Bean Broker in Chadron tonight and every Friday this month from 5-7:00 with 3 initiative petitions available for signing.

     One repeals most of LB 1402, the private school scholarship bill passed this session to negate last year’s petition drive that put repeal of a related bill on this November’s ballot.

    LB 1402 authorizes direct state funding for scholarships to private schools and repeals last year’s funding plan. The new repeal petition leaves in effect the portions of LB 1402 that repeal the other plan.

     Also available for signing will be a constitutional amendment putting abortion rights into the Nebraska constitution. It essentially restores the guidelines in place under Roe v Wade.  

      The third petition supports the legalization of medical marijuana in the state. It’s actually two different petitions – one to legalization and one setting up the system to implement legalization. 

      In a related story, backers of the medical marijuana initiative issued an “urgent need” call Thursday for more signatures.

     Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, the group leading the drive, says it needs 30,000 signatures from registered voters in the next 27 days to make sure it has a comfortable margin when signatures are verified.

      They need about 88,000 valid signatures and have collected about 65,000 so far. A second requirement of signatures from at least 5% of voters in 38 counties has already been reached. 

      This is the third attempt for medical cannabis backers to put it on the ballot. They gathered enough signatures in 2020, but the state Supreme Court ruled the measure violated the “one subject” requirement of initiatives by covering all aspects of the issue.

      They fell short of the necessary signatures two years ago when one of their primary financial backers died, leaving the campaign without enough money to hire paid circulators and forcing it to rely on lesser-organized volunteers.

     Campaign manager Crista Eggers says “There is no doubt Nebraskans want to see this on the ballot, so we need them to step up and help make that happen.”

      Eggers added that her “personal ask as a mother is that people would react as if their child’s life depends on it and go sign; because for many of us, our child’s life really does depend on it: (medical cannabis).”