Unicameral Passes, Governor Signs Redistricting Bills; Dems Satisfied


      The redistricting process in Nebraska is complete as lawmakers Thursday morning gave final approval to new boundary lines for congressional, legislative, University of Nebraska regents, state Board of Education, Public Service, and state Supreme Court.

     Governor Pete Ricketts wasted no time in signing the 6 bills containing the new maps based on last year’s census as well as the bill paying for the 2-week special session, needed because detailed census data was released late.

      When the map for the congressional districts received second-round approval, some Democrats complained that the 2nd District boundaries had been shifted to favor the Republican party, but Democratic state chair Jane Kleeb praised the final package.

        Kleeb said that while “no question there were districts drawn to try and weaken the power of Democrats in various parts of the state,” the party is proud of the legislature for drawing districts where Democrats can compete and win. 

       Kleeb said the party will now focus on organizing, registering voters, and building bridges between rural and urban voters for next year’s election. 

        State Senator Justin Wayne of Omaha, redistricting committee co-chair and Democrat in the officially nonpartisan Unicameral, calls this year’s redistricting process “the most transparent in state history.”