Gov. Pete Ricketts on Monday vetoed a bill that would create an independent commission of citizens to redraw the state’s political maps. In a letter to lawmakers, Ricketts called Legislative Bill 580 a major policy shift that’s unconstitutional because elected lawmakers, not members of a commission, are required to redistrict every 10 years. He argued that the commission could amount to a “hyper-partisan” body composed of former political party activists and elected officials. “At stake are the voting rights of all Nebraskans,” Ricketts said.
State Sen. John Murante of Gretna, who introduced the bill, responded by saying that he had not yet decided whether to pursue an override. “I want to fully understand the governor’s veto message and then discuss his constitutional concerns with some legal experts before I make my decision,” he said.
Last week, the bill overcame a final-round stalling tactic in the Nebraska Legislature and passed on a 29-15 vote.