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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 6, 1996)
nator in 24 years
ov. Kim Robak addresses a crowd of Democratic supporters after Nelson was
Tm going to be on the right side of the
Gov. Ben Nelson
Even though the claims that Nelson
raised property taxes were false,
Wesely said, Nebraskans should have
recognized that property tax wasn’t
even relative in a senatorial campaign.
During Nelson’s one-hour com
mute from Lincoln to Omaha, the race
Before making his concession
speech, Nelson phoned Hagel to con
gratulate him and wish him hick.
After the speech, during an Omaha
rally at the Holiday Inn on 72nd and
Grover streets, reporters asked Nelson
what campaign trail he would take
Nelson said he hadn’t decided any
thing yet but noted that Democratic
Sen. Bob Kerrey could leave an empty
seat in 2000 by retiring or running for
As for die near future, Nelson said
he would be busy catching up on gu
bernatorial business, but only after a
few hours of recreation.
With dark circles undo: his eyes,
die governor said he would spend this
morning hunting pheasants.
“Fm going to be on the right side
of the gun tomorrow.’’
1 412 sent
i f by voters
By Erin Gibson
Nebraska voters overwhelm
ingly rejected ballot initiatives 411
and 412 Tuesday, proposed amend
ments to the state constitution.
Voters handed the proposed
amendments a “resounding defeat”
said Phillip Young, campaign man
ager for die Coalition to Prevent
m Increases, which opposed the
“.“Nebraskans made a well-in
formed decision,” Young said.
Young said the initiatives would
have issued a $539 million shock
to Nebraska’s current system of
taxation. Legislative Bill 1114,
which is set to provide property tax
relief next year, is a better alterna
tive, he said, because it does not
Randy Moody, campaign man
ager of Citizens for 411 and 412,
said Nebraskans , were confused
about the initiatives — and that
The initiatives would have
meant radical changes for how Ne
braska funds public schools,
“This is a major change, and
people just weren’t ready for the
change,” he said.
Initiative 411 would have made
providing a quality education to Ne
braska youth the “paramount duty
of the state.”
Initiative 412 would have cut
Nebraska’s property taxes in 1998.
Moody said LB 1114 will still
provide property tax relief next
year, but could leave public schools
at a $250 million loss for revenue
previously raised by property taxes.
School districts will have to
show the Legislature ways they
have worked to become efficient to
receive replacement revenue.
Citizens for 411 and 412 will
now focus its attention on the Leg
islature, he said, where group mem
bers will lobby for die return of
funding to school districts.
“We certainly want to protect
schools,” Moody said. “We’re
committed to that.”
John Clark, communications di
rector of the Nebraska State Depart
ment of Education, said the depart
ment opposed the initiatives be
cause of the permanence of a con
“The last time an amendment
was rescinded was the prohibition,”
Two amendments pass in state
By Erin Gibson
Voters defeated all but two pro
posed amendments to the Nebraska
constitution Tuesday night.
Only proposed amendment 2,
which would provide for die con
solidation of local and county gov
ernments, and measure 409, which
supports term limits, will be added
to the state constitution.
By voting down proposed
amendment 1, voters chose to re
tain the current law that requires all
gambling on horse races to be con
ducted within licensed racetracks.
Pat Loontjer, Gambling with die
Good Life executive director, said
die group was thrilled by the out
“Nebraskans said ‘enough is
enough,’” Loontjer said. “We have
enough gambling. We don’t need it
on every street comer.”
Proponents said the amendment
could have bolstered the popular
ity of racetracks in South Sioux
City, Grand Island, Columbus and
Lincoln and could have saved the
$250 million industry in Nebraska
from a possible future collapse.
Because initiative 410 failed,
the number of signatures on a peti
tion required by law to get an ini
tiative or referendum on the ballot
will not change. ^ '
The initiative had proposed die
number of signatures be changed to
10 percent of those voting in the
race for governor during the preced
ing general election.
Proponents of the initiative had
argued the number of signatures
currently required makes it impos
sible for volunteer petition drives
to get a measure on die ballot with
out hiring professionals to help.
Voters rejected this proposed
amendment to the state constitution
that would have allowed state sena
tors to obtain the same health and
life insurance and retirement ben
efits offered to other state employ
These benefits are currentiy of
fered to all state elected officials
supported initiative 409, which
amends the state constitution to in
struct Nebraska’s congressional
representatives to support the pas
sage of term limits.
Those term limits, include*. : %> t,
— U:S. repnSsafoatives linntaf -
to three 2-year terms.
— U.S. senators limited to two
Under the amendment, if
Nebraska’s representatives did not
vote for term limits in the future,
that would be noted on election bal
lots in the following election.
Voters approved amendment 2,
which authorizes the Legislature to
pass legislation to consolidate cer
tain local and county governments.
Phillip Young, campaign direc
tor for the Coalition to Prevent Tax
Increases, said the amendment will
help local and country governments
become more efficient.
Efficient government means
lower taxes, Young said.
“Nebraskans want government
reduced,” he said.
Legislative incumbents dominate vote
OMAHA (AP)—Three incum
bents in the nation's only one
house, non-partisan Legislature
were defeated T\iesday ami a fourth
held on in a close battle for his seat
Sens. Mike Avery of Gretna,
Lee Klein of Battle Creek and Dan
Fisher of Grand Island failed to win
Sen. Bob Wickersham of
Harrison closely defeated Cash
Ostrander, a rancher and distant
relative of author Mari Sandoz, for
District 49 in the Panhandle.
Business consultant Jon
Bruning of Omaha defeated Avery
59 percent to 41 percent in District
3. In northeast Nebraska’s District
19, retired Norfolk businessman
Gene Tyson defeated Klein 58 per
cent to 42 percent. Klein had been
appointed to fill theunexpired tom
of Sen. Connie Day of Norfolk who
resigned for health reasons.
Grand Island businesswoman
Chris Peterson defeated Fisher in
District 35. Both are Republicans,
share anti-abortion views, are pro
business, live in die same neighbor
hood and attend die same church.
In west-central Nebraska’s Dis
trict 42, Don Pederson won the seat
to which he had been appointed.
Pfederson defeated Dale Maigritz 53
percent to 47 percent. Gov. Ben
Nelson had appointed Pederson in
August when Sol David Bemard
hi the Lincoln-area District 25,
Sen. Jerome Warner of Waverly
easily won his 10th tom with 75
percent of die vote in his race with
Hal Stephens Dumas HI. Warner
has served in the Legislature since
1962, longer than any other sena
Elections were held in 25 odd
numbered districts and one even
numbered district (District 42),
where the resignation of the incum
bent forced an election to fill a two
• • •.
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