(Associated Press) – Nebraska voters approved capping payday lender interest rates, the removal of slavery from the state’s constitution, lengthening the period of tax increment financing for blighted areas, and legalizing casino gambling in the state. All of the state’s proposed initiatives and amendments passed comfortably, with each six movements clearing 60% of the vote.
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Nebraskans voted to pull the punishment of slavery from the state constitution, with 68% voting in favor of the amendment, and 32% voting against it.
The state legislature will also be allowed to extend the amount of time it takes to repay TIF debts, after 61% of voters approving a second amendment on the ballot; 39% voted against.
Nebraska voters overwhelmingly approved measures to allow casino gambling at state-licensed horse racing tracks in Omaha, Lincoln, Grand Island, Columbus, and South Sioux City. Opponents fought hard to keep the issue off the ballot, including filing a lawsuit in September that was rejected by the Nebraska Supreme Court.
Now, voters have approved a change to the state constitution to allow slot machines and table gambling, as well as two laws that will regulate and tax casino gambling.
Opponents had argued the change would lead to increases in crime and bankruptcy. Supporters have said legalizing casinos in Nebraska will create jobs and a new source of state tax revenue.