Senator withdraws bill to repeal state slogan

2014-01-30T13:50:00Z 2014-03-21T11:18:10Z Senator withdraws bill to repeal state sloganBy JoANNE YOUNG / Lincoln Journal Star JournalStar.com

The slogan controversy-that-should-not-have-been is now off the books.

Omaha Sen. Heath Mello's bill (LB1024) to repeal the 1963 law making "Welcome to NEBRASKAland ... where the west begins" the state slogan was withdrawn Thursday.

The bill would have also given the Nebraska Tourism Commission authority to adopt a new state slogan in line with its efforts to create a new Nebraska "brand."

And withdrawing the bill won't stop that.

The bill had nothing to do with the signs that mark entrances to the state that say "Nebraska The Good Life," developed in the 1970s, Mello has said.

It's still The Good Life.

The 1963 law requires that "Welcome to NEBRASKAland …" be included on state stationary and envelopes. But state agencies appear to be unaware of it, Mello said, and have been violating state law for decades.

The initial outcry over the bill, including creation of a Facebook page aimed at saving The Good Life slogan, has subsided, Mello said. And this week the commission asked him to withdraw the bill to prevent further confusion on their state branding campaign, planned for later this spring.

The Good Life campaign was used for six years in the 1970s. Other slogans have included: Vacation Nebraska in 1979; Nebraska … Delightfully Different, 1980-85; My Choice Nebraska, 1986; Celebrate Nebraska, 1987; Come See What We're Up to Now, 1988-91; Send a Postcard from Nebraska, 1992-97; Genuine Nebraska, 1998-2001; America's Frontier, 2002-03; and Possibilities … Endless, 2004 to present.

The Good Life was thought up by three people, said Tourism Commission director Kathy McKillip.

"Not nearly the broad reach or input from the thousands that we have been in contact with regarding our (new) branding process," she said.

Those survey results are in and are expected to be made public in the near future.

Reach JoAnne Young at 402-473-7228 or jyoung@journalstar.com -- You can follow JoAnne's tweets at twitter.com/ljslegislature.

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