Constitutional Amendment Brings Controversy to Nebraska

By: Sabrina Ahmed
SAhmed@klkntv.com 

With the election right around the corner, voters will have to check off the ballot on more than just the politicians to represent them.

Now voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution, changing how many terms state senators can serve in the unicameral.  

Come November 6th, Nebraskans will vote for the President, Vice President, Senators and Congressmen, State Senators, just about everything across the board.

This year, a few amendments to the state constitution will be there too. One change, Amendment 3, is drumming up some interest. State Senator Tom Carlson from District 38 says it's time for a change.

“A 'yes' vote would extend term limits for Nebraska legislators from two four–year terms to three four–year terms,” the State Senator said. 

In 2000, the Legislature voted to limit state senators time to eight years.  Senator Carlson says it's important to keep the number of terms limited, but adding four years for senators to get familiar with the process will help accomplish more.

“There's an awful lot entailed and I firmly believe people in Nebraska would be better served if they could reelect a state senator to one more term.”

CARLSON SAYS SOME PEOPLE OPPOSE ADDING ONE TERM TO THEIR SERVICE BECAUSE OF LEGISLATORS TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE PERKS—BUT HE THINKS THEY'RE UNINFORMED…

“We have a salary and no insurance and no retirement benefits—I knew that when I took the position and I'm fine with that but I think people need to understand that,” he said.

But overall, it's been well received.  

“Hopefully they might be able to get more things done because now they know how it works and what all they have to go through to get legislation,” Voter Alie Kloefkorn said. 

“But as far as getting a leadership position, by the third time around, you're better prepared to be able to do it,” Voter Lauren Harris said.

Whether this amendment passes is up to the voters.  There is still time to register to vote–in person on the local Election Commissioner's office until October 26th.