State officials caught using certain terms to describe areas outside of Omaha and Lincoln could be slapped with a $50 fine under legislation passed today in the state Senate.
The resolution bans from the vocabulary of state citizens and officials use of the terms "outstate Nebraska," "greater Nebraska" and "lesser Nebraska."
A $50 fine could be imposed on state officials caught using the words. Citizens would not be fined.
The legislation was created after some residents became testy when certain parts of Nebraska were referred to as "greater Nebraska," giving the impression the area was perhaps nicer or more important than, say, "lesser Nebraska."
"Outside the boundaries of Omaha and Lincoln, this (resolution) is no stunt," said state Sen. Sandra Scofield, the bill's co-sponsor.
Scofield said use of the terms greater and outstate Nebraska "is spreading like the plague (and) I'd like to nip it in the bud before it goes any further."
"It isn't appropriate to lump the rest of the state together using one term," Scofield said. "We want to be part of this state. We want to be included as part of this state. We want to be loyal Nebraskans."