A proposal to ask voters to strike down Nebraska’s ban on gambling has been tabled for the session.
Legislators passed on a 27-16 vote a motion to table by Sen. Beau McCoy of Omaha, who objected to a provision in the bill that would allow the Unicameral to expand gambling without taking the issue to a vote of the people.
“That the legislature should not have the preeminent place for that. It should be the people of Nebraska making that decision of whether or not they want to expand gambling,” McCoy tells Nebraska Radio Network.
McCoy says the state should maintain its current system that allows expanded gambling only if voters approve a constitutional amendment.
LR 10CA would have asked the voters to allow the legislature to expand gambling through a simple majority vote.
“Very, very different policy than what we have today and one that I believe wasn’t what the people of Nebraska wanted,” McCoy says. “And I think you just saw with a vote from the Unicameral, not what the majority of the members of the legislature feel like should happen, either.”
The sponsor of the measure, Sen. Paul Schumacher of Columbus, argues that the Nebraska Constitution over the years has been amended to permit the Unicameral to decide a number of issues once decided only through a vote of the people, including horse racing and lotteries.
The constitutional amendment would not have authorized new games of chance, but would have removed the last prohibition on the legislative authority over games of chance.