State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > Nebraska > Chapter49 > 49-14_101_02

49-14,101.02. Public officialor public employee; use of public resources or funds; prohibited acts; exceptions.(1) For purposes of this section, public resources means personnel,property, resources, or funds under the official care and control of a publicofficial or public employee.(2) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a publicofficial or public employee shall not use or authorize the use of public resourcesfor the purpose of campaigning for or against the nomination or election ofa candidate or the qualification, passage, or defeat of a ballot question.(3) This section does not prohibit a public official or publicemployee from making government facilities available to a person for campaignpurposes if the identity of the candidate or the support for or oppositionto the ballot question is not a factor in making the government facility availableor a factor in determining the cost or conditions of use.(4) This section does not prohibit a governing body from discussingand voting upon a resolution supporting or opposing a ballot question or apublic corporation organized under Chapter 70 from otherwise supporting oropposing a ballot question concerning the sale or purchase of its assets.(5) This section does not prohibit a public official or a public employee under the directsupervision of a public official from responding to specific inquiriesby the press or the public as to his or her opinion regarding a ballot questionor from providing information in response to a request for information.(6) This section does not prohibit a member of the Legislaturefrom making use of public resources in expressing his or her opinion regardinga candidate or a ballot question or from communicating that opinion. A memberis not authorized by this section to utilize mass mailings or other mass communicationsat public expense for the purpose of campaigning for or against the nominationor election of a candidate. A member is not authorized by this section toutilize mass mailings at public expense for the purpose of qualifying, supporting,or opposing a ballot question.(7) This subsectionapplies to public officials other than members of the Legislature providedfor in subsection (6) of this section. This section does not prohibit, inthe normal course of his or her duties, a public official or a public employeeunder the direct supervision of a public official from using public resourcesto research and prepare materials to assist the government body for whichthe individual is a public official or public employee in determining theeffect of the ballot question on the government body. This section does notauthorize mass mailings, mass duplication, or other mass communications atpublic expense for the purpose of qualifying, supporting, or opposing a ballotquestion. Mass communications shall not include placing public records demonstratingthe consequences of the passage or defeat of a ballot question affecting thegovernment body for which the individual is a public official or public employeeon existing web sites of such government body.(8) Nothing in this section prohibits a publicofficial from campaigning for or against the qualification, passage, or defeatof a ballot question or the nomination or election of a candidate when nopublic resources are used.(9) Nothing in this sectionprohibits a public employee from campaigning for or against the qualification,passage, or defeat of a ballot question or the nomination or election of acandidate when no public resources are used. Except as otherwise providedin this section, a public employee shall not engage in campaign activity foror against the qualification, passage, or defeat of a ballot question or thenomination or election of a candidate while on government work time or whenotherwise engaged in his or her official duties.(10) This section does notprohibit an employee of the Legislature from using public resources consistentwith this section for the purpose of researching or campaigning for or againstthe qualification, passage, or defeat of a ballot question if the employeeis under the direction and supervision of a member of the Legislature.(11) Nothingin this section prohibits a public official or public employee from identifyinghimself or herself by his or her official title. SourceLaws 2001, LB 242, § 20; Laws 2005, LB 242, § 45; Laws 2009, LB626, § 5.AnnotationsThe filming of a city council member in his city office for the purpose of creating a video advertisement for his reelection campaign was not a "use" of resources in violation of this section. Vokal v. Nebraska Acct. & Disclosure Comm., 276 Neb. 988, 759 N.W.2d 75 (2009).This section is penal in nature and must be strictly construed in the context of the object sought to be accomplished, the evils and mischiefs sought to be remedied, and the purpose sought to be served. Vokal v. Nebraska Acct. & Disclosure Comm., 276 Neb. 988, 759 N.W.2d 75 (2009).