Governed by Article III of the Nebraska Constitution, the Nebraska Legislature is the state’s highest legislative body and is responsible for law-making and appropriating funds for the state. Championed by George Norris and implemented in 1937, it has been a unicameral Legislature ever since – just one house – and it officially recognizes no party affiliations. This makes our Legislature unique among the states. Also, with just 49 members, the Nebraska Legislature is the smallest in the nation.
Amanda Barker explains how Nebraska adopted a unicameral Legislature thanks to the tireless work of George Norris. She shares interesting facts about why the times were challenging and how it may have played into Norris’ favor in the election in which Nebraskans chose this unique approach to governing.
Nebraska Government 101-- Amanda Barker
Amanda Barker Deputy Executive Director at Civic Nebraska will take you through the structure of the Nebraska governing body and how the legislative process works.
Nebraska Government 101-- Resources
A comprehensive lesson plan for classroom use. Can be used with the Nebraska Government 101 video and slide deck for a deeper dive into the legislative process.
This PowerPoint presentation illustrates how Nebraska’s executive, judicial, and legislative branches are structured to administer, enforce, and create our state’s laws.
How a bill becomes a law--Amanda Barker
Amanda Barker, Deputy Executive Director at Civic Nebraska, explains how an idea undergoes the process of research, bill draft, introduction, debate, amend if necessary,goes through the file process, if approved goes to the governor and then becomes (or doesn’t) become a law.
The idea for a new law may come from anyone: concerned citizens, special interest groups, state agencies, the governor, or senators themselves. The idea must be introduced as a bill by a senator or a committee to be considered by the Legislature.
(from The Unicameral Information Office)