Nebraska lawmakers launch special redistricting session

Nebraska News

Lawmakers in the Legislative Chamber recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Lincoln, Neb., Monday, July 20, 2020. Nebraska lawmakers resumed their session after a four-month pause triggered by the coronavirus pandemic. They still have major issues to address, including a property tax package and an upgrade of Nebraska’s biggest tax incentive program, but all of that may be overshadowed by the pandemic’s impact on tax revenue. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers have launched a special session to redraw the state’s political boundaries, with one proposal that would add a 50th state senator to the Legislature to try to keep rural Nebraska from losing a seat.

Sen. Mark Kolterman, of Seward, proposed the measure along with two other rural senators. The bill would expand the Legislature from its current 49 members to 50.

Adding a senator would reduce the ideal number of residents per legislative district, making it easier for lawmakers to preserve rural districts that lost population over the last decade while still adding a district to fast-growing suburban Omaha.

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