School Choice Referendum Off Ballot; Passage Of New Law Made Issue “Moot”


     Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen has pulled from the November ballot an initiative to repeal a law granting state tax credits for donations to groups providing scholarships to private schools.

    Evnen says he dropped the measure because it became moot when the Legislature this spring passed a bill repealing the tax credit plan and replaced it with direct state funding for scholarships.

       Evnen says he consulted closely with state Attorney General Mike Hilgers before reaching his decision.

        Opponents of last year’s law gathered over 120,000 signatures to put repeal on this year’s ballot and the sponsor of both that law and the one that replaced – State Senator Lou Ann Linehan – admitted at a public hearing that the new bill was an “end-run” around the petition drive.

       Opponents have now launched a petition drive to repeal all of the new law except the part that repealed the earlier law. They have until July 17 to collect about 90,000 signatures of registered voters across the state to put their new measure on the ballot..