Nebraska legislature sends constitutional amendment to voters to authorize local governments to develop commercial air travel

On April 12, the Nebraska legislature voted to send a constitutional amendment to the ballot authorizing any city, county, or other political subdivision that operates an airport to spend revenue to develop commercial air travel at the local airport. 

To put a legislatively referred constitutional amendment before voters, a 60% vote is required in the Nebraska State Senate. This amendment was introduced as Legislative Resolution 283CA (LR283CA) on Jan. 22, 2022. On March 2, 2022, the state Senate voted 42-1 to send the measure to review. On April 12, the state Senate took a final vote on the amendment to place it on the ballot by a margin of 47-0 with two not voting.

Sen. Eliot Bostar (D) of Lincoln sponsored the amendment. He said, “Especially for small to medium-sized airports across the country, this is essentially the tool that is used to attract and expand passenger air service. I know of no other state where this cannot be utilized or isn’t being utilized.”

The amendment is the first measure to be placed on the state ballot in November. Between 1996 and 2020, an average of six measures appeared on statewide general election ballots in Nebraska. Voters approved 56.96% (45 of 79) and rejected 43.04% (34 of 79) of the ballot measures appearing on statewide ballots during that time.

The Nebraska legislature is set to adjourn on April 20.

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