Friday, February 4, 2011

Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry is “monitoring” state’s Smart Initiatives bill

Asked this afternoon about the lobbying group’s views on Nebraska Legislative Bill 566 (LB 566), Jamie Karl, Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy at the Nebraska Chamber of Commerce and Industry told Etopia News “We don’t have a position on it; we’re just monitoring it at this point.”

He didn’t recognize the bill by its number, but seemed to respond with alacrity when informed that it was the pending Smart Initiatives bill , which would allow Nebraskans to sign initiative, referendum, and recall petitions electronically online.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry was among the largest contributors to the 2008 election campaign of two members of the state’s unicameral legislature’s Government, Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, which will hold a hearing on LB 566 in late February or early March.

According to information on the Ballotpedia website, the Chamber contributed $3,400 to the campaign of Nebraska State Senator Charlie Janssen and $1,500 to the campaign of Nebraska State Senator Rich Pahls.

Given that no member of the committee that’s going to hear it, except for the bill’s author , nor Governor Dave Heineman , has yet taken a public position on the Smart Initiatives measure, one has to wonder how much “monitoring” the Chamber needs to do to stay on top of the bill’s progress.

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