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History Nebraska to become code agency

A state agency with a recent history of controversy will be placed under the direct authority of the governor by a bill passed April 11.

Sen. Steve Erdman
Sen. Steve Erdman

Under LB1169, introduced by Bayard Sen. Steve Erdman, the Nebraska State Historical Society — commonly known as History Nebraska — will become a code agency under Nebraska state law. Code agency directors are appointed by the governor with legislative approval and report directly to the governor.

Among other provisions, the bill outlines the director’s duties, which include ensuring that the study and presentation of exhibits and other material is conducted in a way that “stimulates, encourages and protects” freedom of expression and academic freedom.

LB1169 removes administrative duties from the board of trustees and instead gives them an advisory role to the director. It also prohibits the director from serving on the board of any charitable organization that provides monetary or other support to History Nebraska and requires prior approval of gifts to the agency of real property or with a monetary value of $10,000 or more.

Senators passed the measure on a 39-4 vote.

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