Friday, May 29, 2015

Maybe the Nebraska Legislature doesn't like the Nebraska Governor.

Yesterday, I wrote about how the Nebraska Legislature overrode a veto of a bill banning the death penalty. I assumed that the veto override was a rare thing. But, as the Omaha World Herald has a story about the Nebraska Legislature overriding another veto by Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts last night.  By a 34-10 vote, the Legislature overturned a veto of a bill that allowed the children of undocumented immigrants to get a license to drive. The margin to overturn this veto was even larger than the one to overturn the veto on the death penalty bill.

Having the legislature override two of his vetoes in two days has to sting Governor Ricketts but if you read the article, it turns out that this is the third time this month that the Nebraska Legislature has overridden one of Govern Ricketts's vetoes.  Earlier this month, the Nebraska Legislature overrode a veto on a bill increasing the gas tax in Nebraska. You can read about that occasion here. While you ponder the circumstances that caused a "red state" to increase taxes, note that on this particular override, at least one legislator who voted against the gas tax increase voted to override the veto. One wonders if the Nebraska Legislature is just messing with Governor Ricketts's head.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Wait, Nebraska banned the death penalty?

Before yesterday, the last six states to ban the death penalty were New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut and Maryland. One thing each of those states has in common is the presence of a robust Democratic Party that, at least occasionally, controls the legislative and executive branches of the state.That is not really true of the latest state to ban the death penalty-Nebraska. Depending on how one counts, Nebraska has had 41 governors since it became a state in 1867 and only 14 have been Democrats (2 of those Democrats were elected by "electoral fusion" and not on the Democratic ticket). The only Democrats to win the Presidential vote in Nebraska in the 20th or 21st Century are Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt (although only for his first two terms), and Lyndon Johnson. Suffice it to say that Nebraska is a conservative state.