The Executive Board took testimony May 19 on resolutions introduced to counter a recent effort to outline legislative positions on a list of perceived threats posed to the U.S. Constitution by the federal government.
Omaha Sen. Megan Hunt introduced three resolutions that would call upon state senators to “express a firm resolution” to support the following:
• LR118, which would defend the U. S. Capitol and the democratic election process;
• LR121, which would defend the right of Nebraskans to an “urgent, robust and professional” response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
• LR130, which would defend the viability of the planet and its natural resources from the threat of climate change.
Hunt said the measurers were a response to the “deeply partisan and factious” nature of LR107, sponsored by North Platte Sen. Mike Groene, which she said should not be “codified” as representing the beliefs of all Nebraskans.
“I would like to present some alternatives,” Hunt said.
Ken Winston testified in support of all three resolutions, saying the Legislature should focus on creating policy that benefits all Nebraskans despite their political differences.
“Please support facts, science and working together,” he said. “Let’s make America better than it’s ever been.”
Jennifer Hicks, testifying in opposition to LR118, said all the protests that she attended in Lincoln after the 2020 election were peaceful. She said she knew individuals who also were at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and that such gatherings were a “pursuit of the truth.”
“I have grave concerns that our election process was not a free and fair one,” Hicks said.
Testifying in a neutral capacity, Rachel Gibson said Nebraska residents hold a wide variety of views and feel passionately about them. As a result, she said, highly partisan resolutions from either side of the political spectrum that purport to speak for all Nebraskans should be avoided in the state’s officially nonpartisan Legislature.
“Your voice as the Legislature is the formal voice of us as the people,” Gibson said.
The committee took no immediate action on the proposals.