Legislative Branch

Nebraska Unicameral

Nebraska's legislature is unique among all state legislatures in the nation because it has a single-house system. However, it wasn't always a unicameral.

Movements for unicameralism have existed throughout the United States since the country's independence. There were several pro-unicameral movements in the state before one finally succeeded. The same year Nebraska's unicameral legislature began operating, attempts in 21 other states to become one-house legislatures failed. Such efforts waned until the 1960s when a Supreme Court ruling revived the movement. The court ruled that both houses must be apportioned according to population, instead of one house according to population and the other house according to geographical lines. The Supreme Court ruling raised doubts about the necessity of having two houses based on population, stirring many states to evaluate their own systems. Many states looked to Nebraska as a model of an effective one-house legislature. Those states included California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas. Nebraska officials visited many states to spread the word about unicameralism. Journalists and officials from other states also visited Nebraska. The Unicameral's first clerk, Hugo Srb, predicted that lawmakers in other states would not want to legislate their own jobs out of existence. Despite the interest unicameralism has received over the years, Nebraska remains-govs the only state with a unicameral legislature.

Read more about the history of the Nebraska Unicameral here: The birth of a Unicameral

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