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Nebraska lawmakers preserve secret committee chair votes

Nebraska lawmakers preserve secret committee chair votes

Lincoln – Nebraska lawmakers have rejected an new effort to require a public vote when they choose legislative leaders, despite a push from some conservative senators for transparency. Lawmakers voted 30-19 against the motion to change the Legislature’s internal rules. Committee chairs and the speaker of the Legislature are elected through a secret ballot. Supporters of the 50-year-old system say it minimizes the influence of partisanship in the officially nonpartisan Legislature, allowing lawmakers to elect the person they consider most-qualified for the job without pressure to vote for a member of their own party. Critics counter that the system encourages backroom deals and vote-trading from senators who are trying to win a chairmanship.

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