NEWS RELEASE: February 29, 2024
Nebraska Secretary of State Rejects Sen. Linehan’s attempt
to derail the public’s right to vote on diverting tax dollars to fund private schools
Lincoln – Nebraskans will get to vote on whether to divert public tax dollars to private schools. The Nebraska Secretary of State today rejected an attempt to overturn last summer’s successful referendum petition that put repeal of LB753’s voucher scheme on the November ballot.
“This decision reflects the will of Nebraskans and the work of our 1,900 volunteer petition circulators,” said Jenni Benson, Support Our Schools Nebraska Board member. “Nebraskans have been clear that they want to vote on the issue of diverting public tax dollars to fund private schools. State lawmakers also must respect voters on this issue and reject new legislative attempts to impose voucher schemes on Nebraska taxpayers.”
Last summer, 117,415 Nebraska voters signed a referendum petition to let voters decide whether to repeal LB753’s voucher scheme. That was nearly double the number of signatures needed to put the issue on this November’s ballot.
Last October, Evnen certified the petition as meeting all legal requirements to put the issue on the ballot. On January 9, 2024, State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan sent a letter to Evnen asking him to reverse the certification.
“It is abundantly clear that Sen. Linehan and the out-of-state forces pushing this tax scheme are afraid to let Nebraskans vote on whether they want tax dollars diverted to private schools,” said Jenni Benson, Support Our Schools Nebraska sponsor. “Now, Sen. Linehan has introduced another voucher bill that will take tax dollars directly out of the state general fund and use it to fund private schools. Linehan should be ashamed of her blatant attempts to deny Nebraskans their right to vote on the issue.”
“Nebraska is the only state in the nation with a one-house legislature. The people of Nebraska, through our initiative and referendum process, serve as the second house,” said Benson. “The referendum is a right and a power reserved for the voters. Sen. Linehan’s attempt to infringe on that right undermines our democracy, stifles public participation, and removes a check on elected officials that is a hallmark of Nebraska’s unicameral system.”
Support Our Schools Nebraska will continue its work to protect the right of Nebraskans to vote on the repeal of L753.