Independent redistricting commission vetoed, no override attempt offered

The governor vetoed a bill April 18 that would have added an independent commission to the Legislature’s redistricting process.

The Legislature is responsible for drawing new governmental boundaries every 10 years after the decennial census for districts pertaining to the U.S. House of Representatives, the Legislature, Public Service Commission, University of Nebraska Board of Regents and the state Board of Education.

LB580, introduced by Gretna Sen. John Murante, would have created the Independent Redistricting Citizen’s Advisory Commission to assist in the process beginning in 2021. The bill passed April 13 on a 29-15 vote.

In his veto message, Gov. Pete Ricketts outlined several objections to the bill, including that it “improperly delegates” redistricting authority. The Legislature is constitutionally required to redraw district lines, he said, adding that an unelected advisory committee should not be tasked with drafting redistricting bills.

In a statement issued April 19, Murante said he would not offer a motion to override the governor’s veto given the constitutional questions raised. He said that he remains committed to finding a way forward on the issue, however.

“Redistricting is too important. We must get it right,” Murante said. “The good news is that we have time to do so.”

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