Glossary

  • Bicameral:
    a two-house legislature often comprised of a senate and house.
  • Clerk of the Legislature:
    an officer of the Legislature who handles all administrative functions related to legislative business. Positioned at the front of the legislative chamber while the Legislature conducts business, the clerk records activity and counts votes on issues.
  • Committee:
    a panel of senators that makes preliminary decisions about legislation or other issues and reports its findings to the entire body.
  • Conference Committee:
    a committee used in a bicameral to settle differences between bills passed by both chambers.
  • Constitution:
    a document that states the basic principles and laws of the state, determines powers and duties of government and guarantees certain rights to Nebraska citizens.
  • George Norris:
    a U.S. senator from Nebraska who led the campaign to switch Nebraska from a bicameral legislature to a unicameral.
  • Hearing, Committee Hearing or Public Hearing:
    a scheduled meeting of a committee which the public has an opportunity to voice its opinion about proposed legislation.
  • Legislature:
    the branch of government charged with making laws.
  • Nonpartisan:
    no formally declared association with political parties.
  • Political Party:
    a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office.
  • President:
    another name for the person who presides over legislative floor debate.
  • Speaker:
    a senator who is elected by the other members of the Legislature to handle administrative functions such as setting the daily agenda of floor activity and scheduling work days for legislative sessions.
  • Unicameral:
    name given to a one-house legislature, as opposed to a two-house, bicameral legislature.
  • Veto:
    return of a bill by the governor to the Legislature without his or her signature, usually accompanied by an explanation as to why the governor thinks the bill should not become law. The Legislature must vote to override a veto within five legislative days after the governor returns the bill.