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AFP-NE Activists Testify before Legislature Against LB 1076

March 02, 2012

AFP-Nebraska activists oppose Sen. Karpisek’s LB 1076, legislation that would limit public input before local boards and commissions.

Nebraska small business owner Seth Brauning was one of those activists who testified before the Legislature’s Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Below is Seth’s excellent testimony:

Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and members of the Government, Military, and Veterans Affairs Committee: My name is Seth Brauning. That is spelled S-E-T-H – B-R-A-U-N-I-N-G. I am part owner of a small business here in Nebraska and I am testifying as a citizen that is very concerned about the LB1076 legislation that is before us today.

I am in favor of the intent behind bill, 1076, but the way it is currently written will cause great harm to my First Amendment rights with the limiting and restricting of public input. The changes that are being proposed to the Open Meetings Act are detrimental for two reasons.

First, this legislation could open the door towards considerably expediting the law creation process. While this may seem like a good thing on the surface, it actually is very bad for Nebraska. Whenever law passage is quick, it doesn’t leave adequate time for Nebraskans to voice their opposition or support for a bill. This bill, on page 9, section 3, lines 18-19, provides an open door for authoritarian law rushed through at the expense of Nebraskan’s freedoms and liberties.

Second, these changes to the Open Meetings act, on page 10, section 3, lines 7-14, could prevent or greatly restrict Nebraskans from giving public testimony concerning a matter such as public safety, education reform, etc. like what is currently available during a Lincoln City Council meeting for example. This could render Nebraska’s state and local governments more unresponsive and disconnected to the needs and concerns of Nebraskans all across the state!

Again, please preserve the rights of Nebraskans and keep Nebraska’s state and local governments connected to the thoughts, needs, and desires of its citizens.

In conclusion, I strongly urge each of you legislators to uphold your oath of office to the citizens of Nebraska and value our First Amendment rights by killing this bill before it reaches General File.

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