Nebraska State Constitution Article III-27

Article III-27


Acts take effect after three months; emergency bills; session laws.

No act shall take effect until three calendar months after the adjournment of the session at which it passed, unless in case of emergency, which is expressed in the preamble or body of the act, the Legislature shall by a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected otherwise direct. All laws shall be published within sixty days after the adjournment of each session and distributed among the several counties in such manner as the Legislature may provide.


  • Neb. Const. art. III, sec. 24 (1875);
  • Amended 1972, Laws 1971, LB 126, sec. 1;
  • Amended 1998, Laws 1997, LR 17CA, sec. 1.


1. Without emergency clause

2. With emergency clause

3. Miscellaneous

1. Without emergency clause

Without an emergency clause, a legislative act takes effect three calendar months after adjournment of Legislature. Summerville v. North Platte Valley Weather Control Dist., 170 Neb. 46, 101 N.W.2d 748 (1960).

While act passed without emergency clause takes effect three calendar months after adjournment of session, operation of act can be postponed to a later date. Wilson v. Marsh, 162 Neb. 237, 75 N.W.2d 723 (1956).

Statute without emergency clause does not become operative until three calendar months after adjournment of the Legislature which enacted it. Bainter v. Appel, 124 Neb. 40, 245 N.W. 16 (1932).

Following clause of act "this act shall take effect on and after its passage and approval" does not express an emergency. State v. Pacific Express Co., 80 Neb. 823, 115 N.W. 619 (1908).

Act containing no emergency clause does not become operative until after three calendar months from adjournment of Legislature. State ex rel. City Water Co. v. City of Kearney, 49 Neb. 325, 68 N.W. 533 (1896).

2. With emergency clause

An act adopted with an emergency clause by vote of two-thirds of all members elected to the Legislature and vetoed by the Governor becomes effective when passed over the veto by vote of three-fifths of the members elected. Sandberg v. State, 188 Neb. 335, 196 N.W.2d 501 (1972).

An act of the Legislature stating an emergency, without stating the nature thereof, is sufficient. Read v. City of Scottsbluff, 179 Neb. 410, 138 N.W.2d 471 (1965).

When a statute passes with an emergency clause in computing the time it takes effect, the day of its passage is excluded, and it goes into effect the next day. Wilson & Company, Inc. v. Otoe County et al., 140 Neb. 518, 300 N.W. 415 (1941).

Where two acts are companion laws and must be construed together, the fact that one has an emergency clause does not operate to put companion law into effect prior to date set by Constitution. Lincoln Tel. & Tel. Co. v. Albers, 126 Neb. 329, 253 N.W. 429 (1934).

3. Miscellaneous

This provision provides the only restriction on the Legislature's power to determine the effective date of its enactments. Pony Lake Sch. Dist. v. State Committee for Reorg., 271 Neb. 173, 710 N.W.2d 609 (2006).

Right of referendum extends to emergency acts of Legislature. Klosterman v. Marsh, 180 Neb. 506, 143 N.W.2d 744 (1966).

Interest on forbearance of money computed at the legal rate on date claim arose. Wheaton v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 128 Neb. 583, 259 N.W. 753 (1935).

Automobile guest law does not affect a cause of action arising after Legislature adjourned but before law took effect. Roh v. Opocensky, 125 Neb. 551, 251 N.W. 102 (1933).

Act may specifically provide for separate provisions taking effect at different dates. State ex rel. Wheeler v. Stuht, 52 Neb. 209, 71 N.W. 941 (1897).

Term "calendar month" denotes period terminating with day of succeeding month, numerically corresponding to day of its beginning, less one. McGinn v. State, 46 Neb. 427, 65 N.W. 46 (1895).

Legislative act may provide that it shall not apply until expiration of terms of incumbent officers. Hopkins v. Scott, 38 Neb. 661, 57 N.W. 391 (1894).