Senators at Their Term Limit Look Back & Look Ahead

Speaker of the House Mike Flood and Senator Tony Fulton, two heavy hitters in the Unicameral. One controls the house, the other crunches numbers, both at their term limit.

"Really I didn't have a grasp of what the effects of term limits would be," Senator Flood said. "But, as we looked around in 2006, we saw all these senators leaving, over 22 of them, it didn't take long to see the opportunity my class has had to serve in a leadership role."

"It's a great honor. I'm going to be able to look back and say I was one of the Nebraskans that was chosen to serve my fellow Nebraskans," Senator Fulton said.

Their in a class of lawmakers who stepped up. When term limits took effect, 35 senators left leadership roles to be filled.

"Were we ready? I don't know. But necessity is the mother of invention so we had to come up with way to be ready, and I think we did a good job," Senator Fulton said.

"I don't know that anybody ready having never done the position before, but I feel I grew a lot into the position and I've been able to make a difference," Senator Flood said.

Within the walls of the legislative chambers, lawmakers work on important issue that effect Nebraskans, like a budget in tough times and child welfare. But, surprisingly, that not what these senators say is their greatest accomplishment.

"The one bill that probably means the most to me is the one that requires parents that are getting a divorce to work through mediation before they can put their 13 year old on the stand and make him pick between parents they want to live with. I think, for me, that bill will make the biggest difference," Senator Flood said.

"This one came at me, I didn't expect it. It fell in my lap and felt the need to do something. We came up with the ignition interlock as a mechanism within our policy to deal with drunk driving," Senator Fulton said.

As the 2012 session draws to a close, Senator Flood and Senator Fulton are not worried. They know the legislature is in good hands. An example they set.

"They're ready to go. They are leaders in their own right. I think you will find the legislature will thrive under their leadership next year," Senator Flood said.

A life of service is not easily left behind.

"I had wanted to be the treasurer at one time. It's out there. Everyone can see I have a desire for public service. It's possible I will go off and run for another office someday but I am not making plans to that end," Senator Fulton said.

Senator Flood is not ruling anything out, including a run for Governor or Attorney General.

"Those jobs are places I think you can make positive changes on the state. I really need to sit down with my wife Mandy and my family and talk about what the time commitments are," Senator Flood said.

One title they're both excited to have is dad.

"I'm trading in the title of senator for the title of coach and I like that," Senator Fulton said.


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