Increase in at-large city council members passed

Senators gave final approval May 10 to a bill that will allow certain cities to elect up to four city council members on an at-large basis.

LB299, sponsored by Hastings Sen. Les Seiler, increases from three to four the number of council members who could be elected at large in a first class city when at least four council members are elected by ward. The change does not apply to a city with a commissioner or city manager form of government.

State law classifies a city of the first class as having a population between 5,001 and 100,000.

The bill also clarifies procedures for how certain cities, villages, counties or school districts may place the question of nominating and electing members to their governing boards on a general election ballot. The question of nominating and electing members by ward or at large could be placed on a general election ballot either by majority vote of the governing body or by petition of registered voters.

Additionally, the bill requires the secretary of state to develop and publish instructional guidelines for appointed election workers.

The bill passed on a 47-0 vote.

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