Nebraska Repeals Pay Ban, Not a Dissenting Vote
Legislative Bill 367 sailed through Nebraska’s unicameral legislature today on a 42-0 vote. Without a single dissent, the legislation reverses the state’s seven-year ban on paying petition circulators according to the number of signatures they gather on a petition.
Sen. Mike Groene of North Platte, the bill’s author, declared that the Legislature and the people whad become locked in a “civil war” after voters passed term limits for State Senators more than a dozen years ago.
Groene, serving his first term, told fellow lawmakers, “It’s time for this body to call a truce.”
Groene has been involved in statewide and local petition drives for many years, including a statewide spending cap measure in 2006 and many local efforts working with the Western Nebraska Taxpayers Association. He designated LB 367 his priority bill, arguing that the expensive state restriction on productivity pay had “really broken the back of people trying to take part in their government through the petition process.”
LB 367 simply allows petition sponsors to set pay so as to reward people who gather more valid signatures from registered Nebraska voters.
Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus supported LB 367, saying it would make the state’s initiative process more viable, and specifically noting that legislators, including himself, need a check on their power. He called the legislation, which was passed in 2008 as the first batch of Nebraksa legislators were finally being term-limited “reflective of a government that was afraid of its people.”
LB 367 is now headed to Governor Pete Ricketts’ desk, hopefully for his signature.
Ways to reach Gov. Pete Ricketts:
Phone = 402-471-2244
Website = https://governor.nebraska.gov/
Twitter = ://twitter.com/GovRicketts
Facebook = https://www.facebook.com/GovernorPeteRicketts
Omaha World Herald: Senators OK bill to reverse ban on per-signature payments for petition circulators
Columbus Telegraph: Bill removes ban on paying petition workers
Ballot Access News: Nebraska Legislature Repeals Ban on Paying Circulators on a Per-Signature Basis
Bio: Sen. Mike Groene