Nebraska Unanimously Approves Two Impeachment Amendments

Nebraska voters were placed with the task of approving or rejecting four proposed amendments to the state’s constitution in regards to impeachment of state officials, wildlife cultivation, state senator term limits, and salaries.

Now that the votes have been counted and the results have been released, Nebraskan’s have approved two proposed changes focusing on impeachment and hunting rights to the state’s constitution set to take effect January 1, 2013.

Amendment 1
After a potentially embarrassing close call in 2006 concerning former University of Nebraska Reagent David Hergert, who was impeached for filing false campaign statements six days after taking office. Nebraskan’s have approved the Amendment 1 measure to effectively close a constitutional loophole that indirectly fostered an environment where candidates pursuing office could potentially break the law without facing the liability of impeachment from the state legislature.

With an 83 percent approval rating for the measure, the state’s constitution will now read as follows in regards to the laws surrounding impeachment:

“A civil officer of this state shall be liable to impeachment for any misdemeanor in office or from misdemeanor in pursuit of such office.”

Historically, the Nebraska Legislature has only impeached two officeholders since the state’s inception: the state’s first Gov. David Butler in 1871 and Hergert in 2006.

Amendment 2
Despite being tabbed as an unnecessary addition to the Nebraska Constitution by those in opposition of the Amendment 2 measure, Nebraska voters overwhelmingly passed the right to hunt, fish, trap, and cultivate Nebraska’s wildlife with an approval rating of 80 percent.

According to State Senator Pete Pirsch, who proposed the measure, the idea was to provide legislation that would help “protect Nebraska’s habitats and some of the traditions in which Nebraskan’s have come to enjoy outdoors.”

Furthermore, Pirsch believes “These activities lead to a higher quality of life for our citizens throughout the state” and deserves protection within state law. Pirsch also credited Nebraska’s wildlife industry as an economic force responsible for over $700 million in annual revenue for Nebraska as well.