Nebraska legislature partial to purple lately

LINCOLN, Neb. — The Nebraska Legislature seems more partial to purple than red lately, despite the state’s reputation for being as crimson red as a Husker uniform.

This year state lawmakers killed a bill requiring voters to show identification, rejected the winner-take-all electoral vote system and snubbed major property tax relief.

Meanwhile, they supported giving driver’s licenses to children of illegal immigrants, increasing the gas tax by 6 cents and repealing the death penalty. If they succeed in scuttling the death penalty, Nebraska would be the first conservative state to do so in 40 years.

That has put lawmakers at odds with their conservative GOP governor, Pete Ricketts, who vetoed the gas tax and vowed to veto the death penalty repeal while continuing to push lawmakers to enact “meaningful” property tax relief, beyond the $64 million approved.

Lawmakers overrode his gas tax veto Thursday, even though his party controls a super-majority of seats in the Legislature with 35, compared to the Democrats’ 13.

The Legislature’s migration to the middle has caused some head-scratching and frustration among conservatives, particularly a clutch of stalwart conservative lawmakers.

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