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The Legislature’s Planning Committee was created in 2009, pursuant to LB 653, introduced by Senator John Harms, of Scottsbluff. The 2012-13 Committee is:

Senator John Harms, Chair
Senator Tanya Cook, Vice-Chair
Senator Greg Adams, Speaker of the Legislature
Senator John Wightman, Chair, Executive Board
Senator Heath Mello, Chair, Appropriations Committee
Senator Mike Gloor
Senator Kathy Campbell
Senator Paul Schumacher
Senator Kate Sullivan

When the Committee was formed in 2009, it was decided that, in order to achieve their goals, they would be assisted by the Legislative Research Office and the College of Public Affairs at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The Committee also formed three sub-committees: 1) Mission Statement and Goals; 2) Research Data Base; and 3) Special Funding. The Mission Statement was adopted and it was decided that there would be nine categories for data collection: Agriculture, Economy, Education, Health & Human Services, Natural Resources, Public Safety, State & Local Government, Telecommunications, and Transportation. The Goals for each category were adopted and it was decided that the Economy section would be completed first. The Research Data Base sub-committee chose benchmarks for the Economy category and Jerry Deichert and John Bartle, with the assistance of grad student Skiarn Issarachaiyos, began collecting data for each benchmark.

The Mission Statement and Goals committee, having completed their task, then became a second research benchmarking committee. The remaining eight categories were divided up between the two sub-committees and benchmarks were picked for each category. Jerry, John, and Skairn then collected data for each category. They also prepared summaries of data and made note of policy considerations for each category. This report consists of the data, summaries, and policy considerations for each of the nine categories.

During this time, the Legislative Research Office prepared for the committee binders, for each of the nine categories, which contain a history of legislation passed in Nebraska for each category during the last thirty years, as well as what is currently being done in other states – compiled from organizations such as the National Conference of State Legislatures. These binders are available to be checked out in the Legislative Research Office. The Planning Committee will also be in charge of updating the data and policy considerations each year for all benchmarks in each category. We are hopeful that this will be of great assistance to Legislators and staff as they craft and debate legislation each Session.

This Report is the 2013 Update to the 2011 Report. Added this year is a section titled “Selected Characteristics for Nebraska Legislative Districts from the 2008-2012 American Community Survey”, and also an “At A Glance” summary of the trends of how Nebraska is doing in each area.

This Report and the Executive Summary are available on the Legislature’s Website at

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