Whereas, the University of Nebraska Board of Regents supported conveyance of land currently known as State Fair Park to the University for a research and development campus that will position Nebraska for a brighter future in the innovation-based economy of the 21st century; and
Whereas, legislation introduced in the 2007 session of the Nebraska Legislature began a formal process of public discourse regarding the State Fair and Innovation Campus, a process that included an interim legislative study, a report by an external consultant, and public hearings before the Agriculture Committee; and
Whereas, in 2008, following months of additional thoughtful work and public input, an historic compromise supported by both the University of Nebraska and the State Fair Board, and championed by Governor Dave Heineman and Senator Phil Erdman, Chairman of the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee, was advanced to the full Legislature for consideration; and
Whereas, LB 1116, which provides for the transfer of State Fair Park to the University, was given careful consideration and thoughtful deliberation by the Nebraska Legislature, and received the support of 44 of 49 senators on final reading; and
Whereas, LB 1116 was signed into law by Governor Heineman, who said the legislation created “the opportunity of a lifetime for two important institutions in our state – the Nebraska State Fair and the University of Nebraska”; and
Whereas, the passage and signing of LB 1116 represented the culmination of a highly-publicized two-year process and signaled a clear statement from elected officials that Nebraska will move forward to leverage the impressive research growth of the University for the benefit of the state; and
Whereas, a group of Nebraska citizens has launched a petition drive to place a referendum on the November general election ballot repealing the provisions of LB 1116, a move that would suspend the activities currently underway to relocate the State Fair and develop Innovation Campus;
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska opposes the repeal LB 1116, and urges the voters of the State of Nebraska not to sign the petition that would place such a referendum on the ballot.