If successful, the measure would amend Nebraska\'s Constitution to limit annual increases in state spending to the rate of inflation, plus the growth of population. Analysis done by the Nebraska State Education Association indicates that if this measure had been in effect for the 2005-07 biennium, the University of Nebraska and the state colleges would have received $52 million less in appropriations.
Virtually all the money that is being spent to pay for the collection of signatures on this petition was contributed by an organization named America At Its Best, based in Kalispell, Montana. Similar petition efforts are taking place in several states and are being coordinated by an organization from Glenview, Illinois, named Americans for Limited Government.
The resolution of the University of Nebraska Board of Regents states:
"Whereas, a petition drive is aimed at amending the Constitution of Nebraska to cap state spending and suspend majority rule by requiring a two-thirds vote to pass certain budget and appropriations measures;
Whereas, if the proposed spending lid had been in place since 2005, it would have sharply reduced funding for the education of Nebraskans in primary and secondary schools, community colleges, state colleges and the University;
Whereas, the 21st century global economy is a knowledge based economy and the economic vitality of Nebraska depends on the strength of its educational institutions and the education of its people;
Whereas, the quality of the University is dependent on the excellence of its faculty and the adoption of the proposed amendment would severely hamper the University's ability to pay the competitive salaries required to attract and retain excellent faculty;
Whereas, the mission of the University is to make quality education accessible and affordable to all Nebraskans, and the University is committed to being cost effective and financially accountable to the citizens of the state, and adoption of the proposed amendment would reduce alternatives to tuition for funding the University;
Therefore, be it resolved that the University of Nebraska Board of Regents opposes the petition drive to cap state spending and urges all Nebraskans who care about education and the future of Nebraska to refuse to sign the petition."