Nebraska legislators reviewing 55 session rules proposals

The rules committee of the Nebraska Legislature is meeting to discuss a proposed 55 rule changes.
Published: Jan. 12, 2023 at 3:52 PM CST|Updated: Jan. 12, 2023 at 4:17 PM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (WOWT) - Nebraska state lawmakers focused on the inner workings of the Legislature: the rules.

They reviewed whether any should be changed or if new rules needed to be made.

The Rules Committee has spent time Thursday reviewing 55 rule submissions — more than twice as many proposed rules changes ever put before the committee.

Ninety minutes into the hearing, they were on item No. 8 — it’s going to be a long, long day in room 1525 of the state Capitol. It took an hour to get through five proposals; at that rate, the public hearing might not wrap up until midnight.

Some of the proposed changes are “inside-baseball,” such as when an amendment can be added or when a senator can make a motion to reconsider.

But there are bigger items that will likely have a flood of testifiers, and that will likely cause the hearing to run late into the day.

For example:

  • One rule change would ban firearms from the Capitol unless you are military or law enforcement.
  • Another proposal from a senator asks the Rules Committee to strike the opening prayer, arguing it shouldn’t be part of the official agenda.
  • Another senator wants secret written votes, such as when they’re picking committee leaders, to be made public.

No decisions will be made Thursday. The Rules Committee will debate and decide which ones should go before all senators.

Nebraska lawmakers met to discuss changes to the legislature's rules package.