Nebraska’s unique Unicameral Legislature relies heavily on the “second house” – the citizens of the State of Nebraska. Ensuring that members of the public have the opportunity to have their voices heard is vital to the legislative process.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created unique health and safety concerns. The Legislature has considered and adopted expanded methods by which the public can provide input into the legislative process so that citizens who have safety concerns about in-person testifying have multiple opportunities to have their voice heard as part of the legislative and committee process.
The following options provide ways for citizens to share their views on a bill with the Legislature. Please read each option carefully, as each has a different outcome as to how your input is recorded.
As always, persons attending a public hearing in person will have an opportunity to present verbal testimony to the committee and be subject to questioning by the committee members. In-person testimony is generally limited to 5 minutes although the chair of each committee has discretion to modify that time limit.
Persons verbally testifying will be listed as a testifier on the committee statement as has been the practice, and have their position included within the official committee hearing record
As part of the Nebraska Legislature’s procedural modifications in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, during the 2021 Session, the standing committees will be accepting submitted written testimony for public hearings on a bill or resolution when the following specific procedures outlined below are met.
The intent of this option is to create a substitute for those who are concerned about safety by testifying in person but wish to have their testimony submitted, name recorded on the committee statement, and included in the formal committee hearing record as if they had testified in person. Please note that the committee statement will note that the testimony was provided in writing with no opportunity for the committee members to question the testifier.
In order to take advantage of this option, the following six requirements must be met:
Failure to meet all of these procedures for submitted written testimony will result in the person providing the testimony to not be listed on the committee statement as a written testifier, however, the testimony will be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit.
If you are not testifying in person on a bill or resolution, or submitting written testimony in person on a bill (Option 2), but would like to submit a position letter to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, you must deliver your letter to the office of the committee chair or emailed to the committee’s email account List of Committee Emails by 12:00 p.m. CST on the last work day prior to the public hearing. *The Executive Board’s email account is email@example.com
Letters emailed (and not hand-delivered) will not be included as part of the public hearing record if sent to any email other than the committee’s email account firstname.lastname@example.org
Your letter must identify the bill or resolution, include your name and address, state a position of for, against, or neutral, on the bill in question and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.
Please note that mass communications will also not be included as part of the official hearing record as an exhibit regardless of delivery time or requests to have the communication included.
In order to facilitate public input on legislation, a new feature has been added to the Nebraska Legislature’s website for submission of written comments on pending legislation on the Legislature’s website at any stage of the process. (To access this feature, search for the bill you wish to submit a statement on and click the corresponding button near the top of the bill page.)
These submissions will not be considered testimony or part of the public hearing record, but the submitted comments will be available for access by senators and staff throughout the session. Please note, there should be no expectation of privacy regarding comments submitted in this format. If a citizen uses the database to submit his or her views prior to the public hearing on a bill or resolution, this option will allow input to the members of the committee prior to any committee votes.
Welcome and thank you for visiting the Executive Board Committee page.
Please note that the Committee holds hearings over the lunch hour, unlike standing committees which hold hearings throughout the afternoon. In light of the limited time for hearings, to make sure your voice is heard please consider submitting a written position letter for the record. This is a form of testimony that will be included in the official hearing record.
Include your name and address, position on the bill/resolution in question (proponent, opponent or neutral), and a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record in addition to any testimony and information you wish to express.
If you would like to have a letter submitted and entered into the public record, please submit materials to the committee’s email address, email@example.com, NO later than 12:00 pm on the last work day prior to the public hearing on that bill/resolution.
The Legislative Council is governed by an Executive Board, which supervises all legislative services and employees. By law, the board employs personnel and sets salaries as needed “to carry out the intent and activities of the Legislature or the board.” The board is responsible for processing legislation involving the following subject areas:
The Executive Board consists of a chairperson, vice chairperson, the speaker, and six other senators. Board members are chosen at the beginning of the first session of a Legislature and serve a two-year term. The Legislature at-large elects the chairperson and vice chairperson. Two board members are chosen to represent each of three geographical caucuses. The chairperson of the Appropriations Committee serves as a nonvoting ex officio member of the board when it considers fiscal matters.
Members of the Executive Board also serve as the Reference Committee, which refers introduced bills, resolutions and gubernatorial appointments to the standing committees according to subject jurisdiction.
If you are not testifying in person on a bill and would like to submit a written position letter to be included in the official hearing record as an exhibit, the letter must be delivered to the office of the committee chair or emailed to the committee’s email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, by 12:00 p.m. on the last work day prior to the public hearing on the bill or resolution.
Additionally, the letter must include your name and address, state a position of for, against, or neutral on the bill in question and include a request for the letter to be included as part of the public hearing record.