- Most Free
- Least Free
- #23 Overall
- #21 Economic
- #28 Personal
- Change in overall freedom, 2007–2009:
- Change in overall freedom ranking since 2007:
- Net domestic migration, 2000–2009 (% of 2000 population):
- Governor, 2011:
- Dave Heineman (R)
- Legislature, 2011:
Nebraska falls behind some other Great Plains states, particularly on economic freedom. Government spending is high, more than a standard deviation above average after grants adjustment. Taxes have fallen slightly, and debt has expanded dramatically. The main reasons Nebraska’s spending figures look high are municipalized electric power and the Census Bureau category “other and unallocable.” The firearms regime is mediocre, considering that Nebraska is a fairly rural state. For instance, the state government does not preempt local limitations on firearms carry, licensing of gun dealers, background checks for private sales and gun shows, registration of firearms, or licensing of handguns. Nebraska requires state approval and teacher licensure for private schools, but there are broad exemptions. Homeschooling laws are liberal overall, but notification requirements are burdensome. Labor laws are very good, and health-insurance regulations are reasonable on the whole. Asset-forfeiture rules are much better than average. Eminent domain has not been sufficiently reformed. The state’s liability system is one of the very best in the country. Arrest rates for victimless crimes are extremely high for both drug and nondrug offenses. Smoking bans are now complete.
- Enact state preemption of local firearms policies, including a strong “peaceable journey” law.
- Eliminate regulations on private schools, including mandatory registration, approval, licensure, and specific curricular requirements. Relax notification requirements for homeschoolers.
- Reform eminent domain further by enacting stringent requirements for blight determination.
State Freedom Calculator
You know how free your state is today, but how free could it be in the future? Here are four policies from each area of the index--fiscal, regulatory, and paternalist--that allow you to play policy maker. Select from the options below and observe as your state's rankings in economic, personal, and overall freedom will be recalculated in real time and your state's ranking will rise or fall depending on your choices.