State Senator Ben Hansen: Beginning another term in office

2 months ago Fremont Tribune

The unicameral hasn’t always been “the Nebraska Way.” Twelve years before Nebraska became a state, the Nebraska territorial assembly met with a House of Representatives consisting of 26 members, along with a 13-member Council. In 1866, the people of the territory voted to approve its very first constitution, creating an official bicameral system to follow.

If you were to come to Lincoln with the 3rd and 4th graders visiting the Capitol, you would learn that Nebraska was admitted to statehood shortly after on March 1, 1867, and for 67 years we continued with a two-chamber system. But in 1934, Senator George Norris convinced 286,086 Nebraskans (60% of voters) to vote in support of a constitutional amendment in favor of the unicameral, bringing us to where we are today.

The unique layout of the unicameral boasts of something exclusive to Nebraska. Senators aren’t tied to any one political party. We are a nonpartisan body.

As the State Senator for District 16, I vote according to my conscience, accountable to my constituents who have elected me for the constitutional values I stand for. On Jan. 4, I was honored to begin another four-year term.

I will continue forward with integrity, determination and resolve as I serve Washington, Burt, Cuming and Stanton counties here in the unicameral. Thank you for entrusting me with the responsibility of representing your families, communities, businesses and way of life once again.

We have only just begun the 108th Legislature and are already feeling the intensity that comes with meetings, floor debate, hearings, policies and working with other senators to create a plan for the session. It’s not simple.

When voting for committees or rules during the first weeks of the session, there are automatically majority and a minority votes. Several senators argue that partisanship will be fostered in how the votes landed this year and it will be an ongoing discussion on the floor.

At the beginning of each two-year Legislative session, the members of the body work to approve a new set of rules regarding the procedures of the session. This year, I have been assigned to the Rules Committee. A public hearing was held on Thursday to hear an unusually large number of suggested changes. Due to the controversial proposals, people showed up from across the state to speak.

I proposed a change that would limit the amount of bills a senator can introduce to 12 bills. The intent of this rule change is to motivate more specificity and thoughtfulness by both the lobby and senators. So far this year, around 1,100 bills have been drafted. Even with a 90-day session, there won’t be enough time to debate them all. We would not be the only state that limits the amount of legislation and I would much rather strive for quality over quantity.

Because of my opinion on this matter, I am bringing up to 12 bills. Many of them are inspired by constituents who have contacted me with concerns or ideas. I appreciate all of your input!

If you have questions or comments, please contact Carson Clayton or Ellie Stangl in the District 16 office at (402) 471-2728 or email me at [email protected] To follow along with the session, please visit or you may watch the live stream when available at

Ben Hansen

Sen. Ben Hansen represents District 16 in the Nebraska Legislature. He can be reached at 402-471-2728 or [email protected]











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