State Board of Education, regents maps advance from first round

Proposed changes to district boundaries pertaining to the University of Nebraska Board of Regents and State Board of Education received first-round approval in the Legislature Sept. 24.

LB7 and LB8, introduced by the Redistricting Committee, contain redistricting plans for the State Board of Education and Board of Regents, respectively.

Currently the two bodies have identical district boundaries, and portions of three districts are within Douglas County.

Elkhorn Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, the committee’s chairperson, said that under LB7 and LB8, as introduced, Douglas County would have contained portions of four districts.

During general file debate on LB7, Linehan introduced a committee amendment, adopted 43-0, under which the county would contain portions of only three State Board of Education districts.

Sen. Justin Wayne of Omaha, the committee’s vice chairperson, supported the amendment. He said the change would give “more [of] Nebraska a voice to make sure that they’re heard on the State Board of Education.”

Senators voted 44-0 to advance LB7 to select file.

Later, during general file debate on LB8, Linehan introduced another amendment, adopted 46-0, to ensure that portions of only three Board of Regents districts are within Douglas County.

Linehan said neither amendment would move any incumbent out of their current district. The changes would mean, however, that district boundaries for the two bodies no longer would be identical because of where incumbents live, she said.

LB8 advanced to the second round of debate on a vote of 47-0.

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