Legislative history in Nebraska includes the introduced bill, any amendments, the introducer’s statement of intent, the text of the committee’s hearing, any committee action, floor debate, and the governor’s veto message, if vetoed.
Nebraska has one of the better-documented legislatures among the states. This is due in large part to the simplicity of the Unicameral Legislature. There is only one chamber; therefore the job is much easier. In addition, since 1965 the legislature has recorded verbatim its committee hearings on bills. Verbatim recording of floor debate began in 1973.
The first thing to know is that there is very little legislative history before the Unicameral Legislature began in 1937. Consult the House Journals and the Senate Journals for legislative history for legislation from the Territorial Legislature and Bicameral Legislature. This would cover the years from 1855 until 1935. From 1937 to 1960, there is no verbatim record, but there are committee minutes and exhibits, some fairly complete, some sketchy or non-existent. The verbatim record is not necessarily complete in the early years following 1961, as committees did not all begin such recording at the same time, and sometimes the tape was not operating during floor debate.
The Legislative Records Historian in the Office of the Clerk of the Legislature will perform a legislative history at 15 cents per page, plus tax and postage. To request a legislative history, contact the Legislative Records Historian, Room 2014, State Capitol, Lincoln, NE 68509, (402) 471-3215, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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