Public Policy Center, University of Nebraska


Date of this Version


Document Type



NEBRASKA POLICY CHOICES 1987, ed. Russell L. Smith (Omaha: Center for Applied Urban Research, 1987).


Copyright © 1987 University of Nebraska Board of Regents.


The adoption of a nonpartisan unicameral legislature by Nebraska voters in 1934 increased the opportunity for distinctive policymaking in the state. This reform moved Nebraska to the forefront on many measures of legislative capability, such as structural simplicity, open deliberative process, and level of staff assistance. Yet, the Unicameral lags behind other states on other measures of legislative effectiveness and modernization. This is illustrated by inadequate compensation for legislators, insufficient winnowing if bills prior to floor consideration, and modest restraint of interest group activity. The uniqueness of the Unicameral continues to bring Nebraska attention. Although its organization and operation receive favorable evaluation, certain features require review and possible change.