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Nebraska lawmakers consider local recall bill

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February 1, 2011

By Kyle Maichle

LINCOLN, Nebraska: The leader of the Jim Suttle recall effort is urging Nebraska legislators to not make recalls of local elected officials more difficult.[1]

Jeremy Aspen said: "there has got to be recourse for inactivity, lies, or inability to run the city." Aspen testified in front of the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee on January 28, 2011, to oppose three bills that would increase recall requirements.[1]

State Senator Brenda Council is the sponsor of Legislative Bills 187 and 188.[1] The two bills would increase the required number of signatures for recall petitions and only allow citizens to sign a petition if they have voted when the recall target was elected.[1] State Senator Bill Avery is sponsoring Legislative Bill 224. LB 224 would only allow recalls on elected officials if they committed serious wrongdoing in office.[1]

Lynn Rex, Executive Director of the Nebraska League of Municipalities, spoke in favor of the bills.[1] Rex said: "we've seen a lot of abuse in this state," and argued that the bills "would help fix a broken system."[1] The Executive Director told the Omaha World-Herald that recalls have been launched in Nebraska towns over issues like a crackdown on junk cars and felt that "the attempts take time and energy away from city business."[1]

Senator Avery, who chairs the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee, said that the current process “permits and promotes” frivolous recalls.[1] Avery considers the Suttle recall in that category.[1]

The committee took no action on the bills.[1]

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