The Unicameral

How the Nebraska Legislature Works



State Budget
The budget is created on a two-year cycle. In odd-numbered years (first session), the budget is set. In even-numbered years (second session), the Legislature makes adjustments to the budget.The Legislature relies on the Nebraska Economic Forecasting Advisory Board and the Tax Rate Review Committee to create state budget proposals.

Sessions
First Session or the odd-numbered years are 90-day sessions. 
Second Session or the even-numbered years are 60-day sessions.

In the Nebraska Legislature, bills (except appropriation bills or bills introduced on behalf of the Governor) must be introduced during a 10-day bill introduction period. Bills not acted upon before the end of the 2nd legislative session will be indefinitely postponed or killed.

How can I get the text of a bill or amendment to a bill?
Bills, amendments, and resolutions are available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format on the Legislature's website. Committee statements, statements of intent and fiscal notes are also easily accessible. Hard copies of the bills may be requested by calling the Legislative Hotline 1-800-742-7456 or by the 24-Hour Request Line 402.471.2877.  You may also go to the Bill Room (RM 1102 on the first floor) at the State Capitol for paper copies of bills and amendments. 

What is carryover legislation?
These are bills and resolutions introduced during the regular session in an odd-numbered year and held over for consideration during the regular session in an even-numbered year. 

How do I find out when a bill is scheduled for a public hearing?
The weekly schedule of committee hearings is prepared for publication each Friday during the session. The schedule is not available until after the Legislature adjourns for the day. Committee hearings are only held during the first half of the session. Half-way through the session, full-day floor debate will occupy much of the senators' time. 

The schedule is available in the Clerk of the Legislature's Office and is published in the Sunday Lincoln Journal Star, the Sunday Omaha World-Herald and the Unicameral Update (the legislature's weekly newsletter during the session). The schedule is also available online.

How do I find out where a bill is in the legislative process?
You can check the Legislature's website, call your state Senator, or call the Legislative Hotline.