The following administrative guidelines have been developed to guide the Legislature during the 2021 redistricting process:
1. Based on 2020 population data received from the United States Bureau of the Census, the Redistricting Committee shall formulate redistricting plans for the Legislature, the U.S. House of Representatives, the State Board of Education, and the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska, the Public Service Commission, and the Nebraska Supreme Court. Once the plans are formulated, the committee shall incorporate them into legislative bills. The bills shall be referenced to the Redistricting Committee, and the committee shall provide notice for and hold at least one public hearing in each of the three Nebraska Congressional districts, pursuant to Rule 3, Sec. 6, of the Rules of the Nebraska Unicameral Legislature. Following the public hearings, the committee shall advance redistricting bills to the floor of the Legislature, with or without committee amendments.
2. Senators are encouraged to submit their redistricting plans to the committee. Nothing in these guidelines shall be construed to prevent a member of the Legislature from introducing a bill containing a redistricting plan or an amendment to a bill containing a redistricting plan at any stage in the legislative process pursuant to legislative rules.
3. (a) Except as provided in subdivision (b), all redistricting plans submitted to the committee, or the full Legislature must be sponsored by a member of the Legislature. All plans submitted to the committee or proposed as amendments on the floor of the Legislature must be created on or verified by the Legislature’s primary Geographic Information System, in order to ensure that the plans conform to the census geography and population figures being used by the Legislature for redistricting.
(b) If members of the public make suggestions during the public hearings that the committee wishes to incorporate, the committee may authorize the creation of maps on the Legislature’s primary Geographic Information System that embody those suggestions.
4. All plans submitted to the committee, or the full Legislature must be accompanied by a statistical report, except that the committee may have a report generated in response to public input at committee hearings.
5. The committee shall encourage the participation of members of the public including members of minority groups, in the redistricting process.
6. Any plan generated by the redistricting support staff shall be kept confidential by such staff until filed with the Clerk of the Legislature unless the chief sponsor of the plan authorizes its release in writing.
7. The committee shall be authorized to establish, by a majority vote, any policies and procedures that will facilitate the redistricting process.
8. Legal, technical, and administrative staff support for the redistricting process shall be provided by the Legislative Research Office (LRO). A review shall be conducted by LRO for the Redistricting Committee to ensure that plans comply with constitutional and statutory standards. With the approval of the Redistricting Committee, the Director of Research may prescribe procedures designed to make the process run smoothly.
9. Redistricting support staff and all GIS workstations shall be located in LRO.
10. LRO shall make available two workstations, equipped with GIS software that may be used by senators and senators’ staff to create redistricting plans on the independently operated workstations. These workstations shall be in addition to two workstations operated by GIS support staff. All plans prepared by senators and senators’ staff must be verified by the Legislature’s primary Geographic Information System, in order to ensure that the plans conform with the census geography and population figures being used by the Legislature for redistricting, prior to being submitted to the committee or to the full Legislature.
11. LRO shall provide training designed to enable senators and senator’s staff to create redistricting plans on the workstations.
12. No constituents shall be allowed to work at the GIS workstations located in LRO but can accompany legislators or their staff as they use the workstations with the legislator’s approval.