A special citizens’ commission will draw political boundaries after the census under a bill passing the Unicameral. LB 580 had to overcome a filibuster before passing on final reading on a 29-to-15 vote with four senators abstaining. Opponents say the change is not needed, that the Unicameral is charged with redrawing lines after the U.S. Census takes its official count every 10 years. They further claim efforts to rid the process of politics are futile.
Sen. Robert Hilkemann of Omaha accused supporters, during legislative floor debate, of pushing a plan that isn’t needed. “In 1991, it was a bipartisan effort that changed an election process that wasn’t broken,” Hilkemann said. “We are trying to do the same thing today. We are using a bipartisan ‘quote, unquote’ solution to a problem that doesn’t exist.”
The bill creates the Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to re-draw lines and submit the maps to the legislature for approval.