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Legislative term limits become hot topic for election
Should Nebraska state senators serve in the legislator for two terms or three terms? The decision is up to you in this year's November election.
But, what will you decide?
Those for Amendment 3 and those against sound off.
Twelve years ago was the last time Nebraskans voted on state senator term limits. In 19 days voters will once again face a similar vote. This time they will be deciding on increasing the current system from two term limits to three terms.
"The issues are so wide ranging it takes quite awhile to feel comfortable with the various issues that you face," said Senator Tom Carlson.
District 38 State Senator Tom Carlson proposed the constitutional amendment which state lawmakers voted on in April.
Carlson says serving in the legislature is a detailed process that takes time. And serving eight years makes it difficult to have a long term plan.
"How to work on a committee, how to function on a committee, how to submit a bill and how to carry that through a committee and it has to be voted out of the committee to the floor for debate before it can even be considered," said Carlson.
Chairwoman Gwenn Aspen of Nebraskans Against Amendment 3 disagrees. She says get in, do the job and get out.
"We're looking for citizens legislature, not career politician legislature," said Aspen.
"Nobody can explain to someone what's involved in serving in the legislature until you actually experience it," Carlson said.
Constituents have the final say.
"I believe in the term limits as far as eight years go because I think that we need fresh ideas and new info to come in," said voter Mike Johnson.
"I'd rather have them be there an extended time that way they can get a little more accomplished and just get settled in and find out what's going on," voter Larry Evans said.
"In eight years they definitely have enough time to get to know the legislation procedures and if they can't accomplish it in eight years then they're probably not very effective," voter Dennis Beran said.
Senator Carlson has served six years and is not up for re-election. He's in his second four year term with just two years left.
If Amendment 3 gets enough votes in November it will take affect immediately. When the next election comes around in two years, then those that are currently serving, that have not served more than eight years would have a possibility of running again for a third term. So the amendment doesn't guarantee anything for a Senator. They still have to be re-elected.
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