On Thursday, January 4, Republican Senator Paul Schumacher proposed a constitutional amendment (LR269CA) that would let him give the sovereignty of small, low population parts of Nebraska to companies. A report by the Omaha World-Herald provided many of the details in this article.

If the company was allowed sovereignty they would no longer have to pay city or state taxes or follow state regulations. He believes that throwing out all state laws for companies and helping them avoid their taxes will draw more companies to Nebraska, which might boost its economy.

With this in mind, he is planning on granting sovereignty for areas up to 36 square miles with a population density of, at most, 10 people per a square mile. This means that every time he creates one of these tax evasion sovereignties he grants, up to 360 people could suddenly find that they no longer technically live in their state. The company could hold sovereignty over this area for up to 99 years.

People living in the areas granted to the companies may suddenly find that they must follow company laws

If Senator Schumacher put no thought into the effect this amendment could have on the people living inside the sovereignties, they could not only lose the laws that protect them, but end up forced to follow any laws the corporation decides to create.

As the bill already virtually destroys any laws his citizens have voted on that affect corporations, it doesn't seem like such a stretch to assume that he hasn't considered the citizens of Nebraska at all when writing this amendment. So, as bizarre as it might seem, company made laws could end up affecting members of rural Nebraska.

Anyone who lives in very lowly populated parts of Nebraska should push to destroy this legislature or ensure it protects them before it is passed.

This amendment would also destroy environmental regulations

This amendment doesn't only hurt Nebraska's citizens, it could also harm the environment. They will still have to follow federal laws, like the National Environmental Policy Act, but they don't have to follow any environmental rules created by the state.

This keeps them from needing to follow standards for air quality, water quality, groundwater quality, and waste management. They also wouldn't have to follow Title 200, which makes any company that leaks petroleum reimburse the state for the cost to clean it. This amendment would be a large step backward for environmental regulations.