Nebraska State Treasurer Amendment, Amendment 2 (2010)

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Nebraska Constitution
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The Nebraska State Treasurer Abolishing Amendment, also known as Amendment 2, was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the state of Nebraska as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment, where it was defeated.Defeatedd The amendment was proposed by Senator Dennis Utter and asked voters whether or not to abolish the position of the state treasurer.[1]

As with any treasurer at the state level, the position required that the candidate manages the treasury and was responsible for the Unclaimed Property program, the Nebraska College Savings program, the State Disbursement Unit for child support payment, the Long-Term Care Savings Plan, and Nebraskaspending.gov. The measure was introduced as a way to help save money for the state.[2]

The measure, known as LR 248 CA, was advanced by the legislature by a 37-6 vote for a second reading. The vote took place on March 9, 2010. The measure was then passed on March 26, 2010 by the Nebraska Legislature, placing the measure before voters. According to Utter, "I want to look for ways to make government smaller, more efficient, more transparent and more effective. I want to get the maximum mileage out of the taxpayer's dollars."[3][4]

Election results

See also: 2010 ballot measure election results
Amendment 2 (State Treasurer Amendment)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No299,88267.1%
Yes 146,935 32.9%

Official results via Nebraska Secretary of State.

Text of measure

Ballot title

The ballot title that Nebraska voters saw on their ballot read:[5]

A constitutional amendment to abolish the office of the State Treasurer on January 8, 2015.

For

Against

Constitutional changes

Nebraska State Treasurer Abolishing Amendment, Constitutional text changes

The measure was proposed to amend Section 1 and Section 3, Article IV of the Nebraska Constitution.[5]

Support

Arguments

  • Dennis Utter stated that the measure would cease duplications in the state because the responsibilities of the treasurer would be placed on other agencies, therefore saving money for the state. According to Utter and his supporters, the state would save a total of $600,000 annually.
  • Utter said his proposal also would eliminate duplication because those areas would be transferred to other state agencies, such as the Department of Revenue and the Department of Administrative Services, which already handle similar functions.[3]

Legislature

The following Legislative members were in favor of the proposed constitutional amendment:[3]

  • Senator Heath Mello stated, "We need to consider how to make up a $700 million budget deficit. This proposal is common sense."
  • Senator Kathy Campbell claimed, "I think this is a creative solution. We're going to have to find more of these in the future."

Opposition

The following legislative members were opposed to the proposed constitutional amendment:[3]

  • Senator Tony Fulton, who ran for the treasurer position, argued, "When Shane Osborn took over, there were 63 employees under him. Now there are only 49. The department is directly accountable to the people. They're literally doing more with less...The problem with the proposal is that it delegates the important duties of the state treasurer to unelected bureaucrats."
  • Senator Charlie Janssen chimed in on the proposal, stating, "I think it will expand some agencies, and we'll lose government transparency. Voters will never have a choice to determine their future of state funds ever again."

Media endorsement

See also: Endorsements of Nebraska ballot measures, 2010
  • The Lincoln Journal Star recommended a 'yes' vote on the measure, stating, "One argument raised against the proposal is that it would diminish the system of checks and balances. Utter persuasively argues, however, that the elected office of state auditor already provides an adequate check on state government financial matters. We think he is right. We recommend a vote for Amendment 2."[7]

Path to the ballot

The measure was first introduced to the Nebraska Legislature on January 11, 2010, then was referred to the Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee on February 23, 2010. The measure was then sent to the ballot and approved by the Nebraska Secretary of State on March 26, 2010. 60% of the members of the Nebraska State Legislature must vote for a proposed amendment to be placed on the ballot. Nebraska is one of nine states that allows a referred amendment to go on the ballot after a 60% supermajority vote in one session.[8]

See also

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References