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Article IV, Nebraska Constitution

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Nebraska Constitution
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Article IV of the Nebraska Constitution consists of 28 sections.

Section 1

Text of Section 1:

Executive Departments; officers; When Elected; Terms; Eligibility; Books to Be Kept at Seat of Government; Residence of Officers; Heads of Departments; Appointments

The executive officers of the state shall be the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, State Treasurer, Attorney General, and the heads of such other executive departments as set forth herein or as may be established by law. The Legislature may provide for the placing of the above named officers as heads over such departments of government as it may by law establish.

The Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Auditor of Public Accounts, and State Treasurer shall be chosen at the general election held in November 1974, and in each alternate even-numbered year thereafter, for a term of four years and until their successors shall be elected and qualified.

Each candidate for Governor shall select a person to be the candidate for Lieutenant Governor on the general election ballot. In the general election one vote shall be cast jointly for the candidates for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. The Governor shall be ineligible to the office of Governor for four years next after the expiration of two consecutive terms for which he or she was elected.

The records, books, and papers of all executive officers shall be kept at the seat of government. Executive officers shall reside within the State of Nebraska during their respective terms of office. Officers in the executive department of the state shall perform such duties as may be provided by law.

The heads of all executive departments established by law, other than those to be elected as provided herein, shall be appointed by the Governor, with the consent of a majority of all members elected to the Legislature, but officers so appointed may be removed by the Governor. Subject to the provisions of this Constitution, the heads of the various executive or civil departments shall have power to appoint and remove all subordinate employees in their respective departments.

Section 2

Text of Section 2:

Governor; Lieutenant Governor; Eligibility; Qualifications; Appointive Officers, Ineligible for Other Office

No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor, or Lieutenant Governor, who shall not have attained the age of thirty years, and who shall not have been for five years next preceding his election a resident and citizen of this state and a citizen of the United States. None of the appointive officers mentioned in this article shall be eligible to any other state office during the period for which they have been appointed.

Section 3

Text of Section 3:

Treasurer; Ineligibility

The treasurer shall be ineligible to the office of treasurer, for two years next after the expiration of two consecutive terms for which he was elected.

Section 4

Text of Section 4:

Election Returns; Canvass by Legislature; Conduct of Election Contests

The returns of every election for the officers of the executive department shall be sealed up and transmitted by the returning officers to the Secretary of State, directed to the Speaker of the Legislature, who shall immediately after the organization of the Legislature, and before proceeding to other business, open and publish the same in the presence of a majority of the members of the Legislature. The person having the highest number of votes for each of said offices shall be declared duly elected; but if two or more have an equal and the highest number of votes, the Legislature shall choose one of such persons for said office. The conduct of election contests for any of said offices shall be in such manner as may be prescribed by law.

Section 5

Text of Section 5:


All civil officers of this state shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office.

Section 6

Text of Section 6:

Supreme Executive Power

The supreme executive power shall be vested in the Governor, who shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed and the affairs of the state efficiently and economically administered.

Section 7

Text of Section 7:

Message by Governor; Budget; Contents; Budget Bill; Preparation; Appropriations Not to Be in Excess of Budget; Exception; Excess Subject to Veto

The Governor may, at the commencement of each session, and at the close of his term of office and whenever the Legislature may require, give by message to the Legislature information of the condition of the state, and shall recommend such measures as he shall deem expedient. At a time fixed by law, he shall present, by message, a complete itemized budget of the financial requirements of all departments, institutions and agencies of the state and a budget bill to be introduced by the Speaker of the Legislature at the request of the Governor. Said budget bill shall be prepared with such expert assistance and under such regulations as may be required by the Governor. No appropriations shall be made in excess of the recommendation contained in such budget including any amendment the Governor may make thereto unless by three-fifths vote of the Legislature, and such excess so approved shall be subject to veto by the Governor.

Section 8

Text of Section 8:

Special Sessions

The Governor may, on extraordinary occasions, convene the Legislature by proclamation, stating therein the purpose for which they are convened, and the Legislature shall enter upon no business except that for which they were called together.

Section 9

Text of Section 8:

Repealed 1934. Initiative Measure No. 330.

Section 10

Text of Section 10:

Governor to Appoint Officers; Removal

The Governor shall appoint with the approval of a majority of the Legislature, all persons whose offices are established by the Constitution, or which may be created by law, and whose appointment or election is not otherwise by law or herein provided for; and no such person shall be appointed or elected by the Legislature. The Governor shall have power to remove, for cause and after a public hearing, any person whom he may appoint for a term except officers provided for in Article V of the Constitution, and he may declare his office vacant, and fill the same as herein provided as in other cases of vacancy. The Governor shall have power to remove any other person whom he appoints at any time and for any reason.

Section 11

Text of Section 11:

Elected State Officer; Vacation of Office; Governor Fill by Appointment; Term

If any elected state office created by this Constitution, except offices provided for in Article V of this Constitution, shall be vacated by death, resignation or otherwise, it shall be the duty of the Governor to fill that office by appointment, and the appointee shall hold the office until his successor shall be elected and qualified in such manner as may be provided by law.

Section 12

Text of Section 12:

Nonelective State Officers; Vacation; Governor; Fill the Office by Appointment; Approval by Legislature

If any nonelective state office, except offices provided for in Article V of this Constitution, shall be vacated by death, resignation or otherwise, it shall be the duty of the Governor to fill that office by appointment. If the Legislature is in session, such appointment shall be subject to the approval of a majority of the members of the Legislature. If the Legislature is not in session, the Governor shall make a temporary appointment until the next session of the Legislature, at which time a majority of the members of the Legislature shall have the right to approve or disapprove the appointment. All appointees shall hold their office until their successors shall be appointed and qualified. No person after being rejected by the Legislature shall be again nominated for the same office at the same session, unless at request of the Legislature, or be appointed to the same office during the recess or adjournment of the Legislature.

Section 13

Text of Section 13:

Board of Parole; Members; Powers; Reprieves; Proceedings; Power to Pardon; Limitations

The Legislature shall provide by law for the establishment of a Board of Parole and the qualifications of its members. Said board, or a majority thereof, shall have power to grant paroles after conviction and judgment, under such conditions as may be prescribed by law, for any offenses committed against the criminal laws of this state except treason and cases of impeachment. The Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State, sitting as a board, shall have power to remit fines and forfeitures and to grant respites, reprieves, pardons, or commutations in all cases of conviction for offenses against the laws of the state, except treason and cases of impeachment. The Board of Parole may advise the Governor, Attorney General and Secretary of State on the merits of any application for remission, respite, reprieve, pardon or commutation but such advice shall not be binding on them. The Governor shall have power to suspend the execution of the sentence imposed for treason until the case can be reported to the Legislature at its next session, when the Legislature shall either grant a pardon, or commute the sentence or direct the execution, or grant a further reprieve.

Section 14

Text of Section 14:

Governor to Be Commander-in-Chief of Militia

The Governor shall be commander-in-chief of the military and naval forces of the state (except when they shall be called into the service of the United States) and may call out the same to execute the laws, suppress insurrection, and repel invasion.

Section 15

Text of Section 15:

Bills to Be Presented to Governor; Approval; Procedure; Disapproval or Reduction of Items of Appropriation; Passage Despite Disapproval or Reduction

Every bill passed by the Legislature, before it becomes a law, shall be presented to the Governor. If he approves he shall sign it, and thereupon it shall become a law, but if he does not approve or reduces any item or items of appropriations, he shall return it with his objections to the Legislature, which shall enter the objections at large upon its journal, and proceed to reconsider the bill with the objections as a whole, or proceed to reconsider individually the item or items disapproved or reduced. If then three-fifths of the members elected agree to pass the bill with objections it shall become a law, or if three-fifths of the members elected agree to repass any item or items disapproved or reduced, the bill with such repassage shall become a law. In all cases the vote shall be determined by yeas and nays, to be entered upon the journal. Any bill which shall not be returned by the Governor within five days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, shall become a law in like manner as if he had signed it; unless the Legislature by their adjournment prevent its return; in which case it shall be filed, with his objections, in the office of the Secretary of State within five days after such adjournment, or become a law. The Governor may disapprove or reduce any item or items of appropriation contained in bills passed by the Legislature, and the item or items so disapproved shall be stricken therefrom, and the items reduced shall remain as reduced unless the Legislature has reconsidered the item or items disapproved or reduced and has repassed any such item or items over the objection of the Governor by a three-fifths approval of the members elected.

Section 16

Text of Section 16:

Order of Succession to Become Governor; Lieutenant Governor; Duties

In case of the conviction of the Governor on impeachment, his removal from office, his resignation or his death, the Lieutenant Governor, the Speaker of the Legislature and such other persons designated by law shall in that order be Governor for the remainder of the Governor's term.

In case of the death of the Governor-elect, the Lieutenant Governor-elect, the Speaker of the Legislature and such other persons designated by law shall become Governor in that order at the commencement of the Governor-elect's term.

If the Governor or the person in line of succession to serve as Governor is absent from the state, or suffering under an inability, the powers and duties of the office of Governor shall devolve in order of precedence until the absence or inability giving rise to the devolution of powers ceases as provided by law. After January 1, 1975, the Lieutenant Governor shall serve on all boards and commissions in lieu of the Governor whenever so designated by the Governor, shall perform such duties as may be delegated him by the Governor, and shall devote his full time to the duties of his office.

Section 17

Text of Section 17:

Repealed 1934. Initiative Measure No. 330.

Section 18

Text of Section 18:

Repealed 1972. Laws 1972, LB 302, sec. 1.

Section 19

Text of Section 19:

State Institutions; Management, Control, and Government; Determination by Legislature

The general management, control and government of all state charitable, mental, reformatory, and penal institutions shall be vested as determined by the Legislature.

Section 20

Text of Section 20:

Public Service Commission; Membership; Terms; Powers

There shall be a Public Service Commission, consisting of not less than three nor more than seven members, as the Legislature shall prescribe, whose term of office shall be six years, and whose compensation shall be fixed by the Legislature. Commissioners shall be elected by districts of substantially equal population as the Legislature shall provide. The powers and duties of such commission shall include the regulation of rates, service and general control of common carriers as the Legislature may provide by law. But, in the absence of specific legislation, the commission shall exercise the powers and perform the duties enumerated in this provision.

Section 21

Text of Section 21:

Repealed 1972. Laws 1972, LB 302, sec. 1.

Section 22

Text of Section 22:

Executive Officials to Keep Accounts; Reports; False Reports, Penalty

The Legislature shall provide by statute for the keeping of accounts and the reporting by those agencies of the state which are required to administer cash funds not subject to appropriation by the Legislature, and an annual report thereof shall be made to the Governor under oath; and any officer who makes a false report shall be guilty of perjury and punished accordingly.

Section 23

Text of Section 23:

Executive Officials and Heads of Institutions; Reports to Legislature; Information from Expending Agencies

All expending agencies of the state as the Legislature may provide shall at least ten days preceding each regular session of the Legislature severally report to the Governor, who shall transmit such reports to the Legislature, together with the reports of the Judges of the Supreme Court of defects in the constitution and laws, and the Governor or the Legislature may at any time require information, in writing, under oath, from the officers of all expending agencies, upon any subject relating to the condition, management and expenses of their respective offices.

Section 24

Text of Section 24:

Great Seal

There shall be a seal of the state, which shall be called the "Great Seal of the State of Nebraska," which shall be kept by the Secretary of State and used by him officially as directed by law.

Section 25

Text of Section 25:

Salaries of Officials; Fees

The officers provided for in this article shall receive such salaries as may be provided by law. Such officers, or such other officers as may be provided for by law, shall not receive for their own use any fees, costs, or interest upon public money in their hands. All fees that may hereafter be payable by law for services performed, or received by an officer provided for in this article, by virtue of his office shall be paid forthwith into the state treasury.

Section 26

Text of Section 26:

Officials to Give Bonds

All officers of government shall give bond as may be prescribed by law.

Section 27

Text of Section 27:

Executive Offices; Creation of

No executive state office other than herein provided shall be created except by a two-thirds majority of all members elected to the Legislature.

Section 28

Text of Section 28:

Tax Equalization and Review Commission; Members; Powers; Tax Commissioner; Powers

By January 1, 1997, there shall be a Tax Equalization and Review Commission. The members of the commission shall be appointed by the Governor as provided by law. The commission shall have power to review and equalize assessments of property for taxation within the state and shall have such other powers and perform such other duties as the Legislature may provide. The terms of office and compensation of members of the commission shall be as provided by law.

A Tax Commissioner shall be appointed by the Governor with the approval of the Legislature. The Tax Commissioner may have jurisdiction over the administration of the revenue laws of the state and such other duties and powers as provided by law. The Tax Commissioner shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor.

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