Nebraska’s population is shifting as more people are moving from rural areas to major cities.
A recent report from the state legislature says almost all of the Lancaster County Districts are in the upper half of the rankings, while the lowest populated area is in the panhandle.
Co-chairmen of a committee with Blueprint Nebraska Owen Palm says they set aside a rural versus urban divide when looking at the state’s interest.
“Our view was a win for Scottsbluff or North Platte was a win for Omaha or Lincoln,” Plam says. “Or a win for Omaha or Lincoln is a win for North Platte and Scottsbluff.”
Blueprint Nebraska is an organization designed to look at interests from all parts of the state.
Palm says population shifts may impact future legislative priorities.
“We really need to get away from rural versus urban here and think about what’s best for the state and that requires collaboration.”
Palm says that’s a reminder for everyone when trying to share urban and rural perspectives.
“It’s very difficult to change mindsets. We really do need to focus on what’s best for the state of Nebraska versus what’s best for individuals.”
Locally, Lincoln State Senator Adam Morefield tells KLIN News some lawmakers are more willing than others.
“You know it all depends on the senator,” Morefield says. “Some are more than partisan and some are less partisan if that’s the word you want to use when it comes to urban versus rural issues. I personally think I’m a state senator, not just a district 46 senator and I try to take into account all Nebraskans when I vote.”
He adds it can be tough, but keeping an open mind is best.
“One thing I’ve learned in the legislature there are rarely any black and white issues. There’s rarely an issue that doesn’t have another side to it that doesn’t have a good argument or case to it.”
For more on what separates east versus west in Nebraska, visit the podcasts page and click on Focal Point.
Focal Point airs every Monday morning at 6:55 am on LNK Today.