Public employment waiting period proposed

Certain public officials who leave office would be required to wait two years before serving again under a bill heard Feb. 20 by the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Omaha Sen. Burke Harr, sponsor of LB1075, said he introduced the bill to try and close the “revolving door” in Nebraska politics. He said a waiting period would help prevent the appearance of impropriety.

“We, as elected officials, are held to a higher standard,” Harr said. “The public places a great trust in us and expects us to do what is right.”

Under the bill, any person elected or appointed to serve on the governing body of a political subdivision or the governing body of an agency of the executive branch of the state that is created by the state constitution or by statute would be ineligible for public employment for two years after leaving such position.

Any individual who appoints a member to serve on an entity covered by the bill would be ineligible for employment by that entity for two years after leaving the position by virtue of which he or she made the appointment.

Beth Bazyn Ferrell of the Nebraska Association of County Officials testified in opposition to the bill, saying that it could inhibit a county’s ability to fill vacancies in county offices.

No one testified in support of the bill and the committee took no immediate action on it.

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