Nebraska Revised Statute 18-2523

Chapter 18 Section 2523

18-2523.

Initiative powers; scope.

(1) The power of initiative allows citizens the right to enact measures affecting the governance of each municipal subdivision in the state. An initiative proposal shall not have as its primary or sole purpose the repeal or modification of existing law except if such repeal or modification is ancillary to and necessary for the adoption and effective operation of the initiative measure.

(2) An initiative shall not be effective if the direct or indirect effect of the passage of such initiative measure shall be to repeal or alter an existing law, or portion thereof, which is not subject to referendum or subject only to limited referendum pursuant to section 18-2528.

(3) The power of initiative shall extend to a measure to provide for the condemnation of an investor-owned natural gas system by a municipal subdivision when the condemnation would, if initiated by the governing body of the municipal subdivision, be governed by the provisions of the Municipal Natural Gas System Condemnation Act.

(4) An initiative measure to provide for the condemnation of an investor-owned natural gas system by a municipal subdivision shall be a measure to require the municipal subdivision to initiate and pursue condemnation proceedings subject to the provisions of the Municipal Natural Gas System Condemnation Act.

Source

Cross References

  • Municipal Natural Gas System Condemnation Act, see section 19-4624.

Annotations

  • Although the Nebraska Constitution does not prohibit a municipal ballot measure from asking voters to approve distinct and independent propositions in a single vote, a common-law single subject rule does prohibit this type of municipal ballot measure to preserve the integrity of the municipal electoral process. City of North Platte v. Tilgner, 282 Neb. 328, 803 N.W.2d 469 (2011).

  • A municipal ballot measure with separate provisions does not violate the common-law single subject rule if each of its provisions has a natural and necessary connection with each other and together are part of one general subject. City of North Platte v. Tilgner, 282 Neb. 328, 803 N.W.2d 469 (2011).

  • A proposed municipal ballot measure is invalid if it would (1) compel voters to vote for or against distinct propositions in a single vote—when they might not do so if presented separately, (2) confuse voters on the issues they are asked to decide, or (3) create doubt as to what action they have authorized after the election. City of North Platte v. Tilgner, 282 Neb. 328, 803 N.W.2d 469 (2011).

  • Courts liberally construe grants of municipal initiative and referendum powers to permit, rather than restrict, the power and to attain, rather than prevent, its object. City of North Platte v. Tilgner, 282 Neb. 328, 803 N.W.2d 469 (2011).

  • To determine whether petitioners for a municipal ballot measure are acting under their initiative power or their referendum power, a court should look to the function of their proposed ballot measure—not its label. City of North Platte v. Tilgner, 282 Neb. 328, 803 N.W.2d 469 (2011).

  • When petitioners for a municipal ballot measure are not seeking to repeal an ordinance, the correct distinction for determining whether their proposed measure falls under the petitioners' initiative power or their referendum power is whether the proposed measure would enact a new ordinance (initiative power) or would amend an existing ordinance (referendum power). City of North Platte v. Tilgner, 282 Neb. 328, 803 N.W.2d 469 (2011).