The Nebraska Legislature opened its 2022 session Wednesday morning, convening at 10:00 CT and adjourning about 90-minutes later after taking care of routine start-of-the-session business.
There was a brief ceremony marking George W Norris Day, celebrating the father of Nebraska’s unique one-house legislative system. The chamber where the legislature meets was named in his honor nearly 40 years ago.
This is the 85th anniversary of the opening of the first Unicameral session and current State Senator John McCollister of Omaha read on the floor the speech Norris gave to that opening session.
Although best-known for conceiving and pushing through the switch from the traditional two-chamber system, Norris is widely considered as one of history’s greatest United States Senators.
He served in the U-S House from 1903 until 1913, then was in the Senate for the next 30 years. His accomplishments there included the Norris-LaGuardia Act of 1932 supporting labor unions and the creation of the Tennessee Valley Authority in 1933.