Redistribution Committee advances congressional map dividing Douglas County | Elections
OMAHA – Lawmakers at the Nebraska Legislature Constituency Committee voted along party lines to advance a map of the congressional district that divides Douglas County, following a day of public testimony in Omaha where most of the witnesses said they opposed this idea.
The bill, introduced by committee chair Senator Lou Ann Linehan of Elkhorn and other Republican lawmakers, is now before the legislature. The debate between the whole body is expected to begin on Friday. The proposal would need 33 votes to overcome an obstruction, and there are 32 Republicans and 17 Democrats in the officially non-partisan unicameral.
The five Republicans on the committee voted to move the bill forward in an executive session Thursday afternoon. Had the redistribution been done on a typical schedule, Linehan said, the committee would not have taken the vote at the end of a long public hearing. But senators must have something to debate on Capitol Hill Friday morning due to this year’s tight deadline, and the Congress card is going to be “controversial,” she said.
Before the vote, the public weighed in for five hours. Most of the testimony consisted of arguments against splitting Douglas County, the seat of Omaha, as would happen under the proposed proposal. Several witnesses, however, also pleaded for the whole of Sarpy County – and others pleaded to find a way to do both.
A major point of contention is the 2nd Congressional District.