A constitutional amendment to lengthen term limits is over it's first hurdle. Lawmakers advanced the proposal from Holdrege Senator Tom Carlson.
The measure would allow senators to serve three back-to-back terms for a total of twelve years.
"No other state is as low as 8 years," Sen. Carlson said. "I think it's time to give the voters another choice they didn't have in the year 2000."
Although Sen. Carlson's amendment advanced it met some opposition in the form of another amendment. One that would get rid of term limits altogether.
"The best determinate of the time for us to serve our constituents is the electoral process," Sen. Brenda Council said.
Lawmakers slammed the door on Sen. Council's measure with a decisive 42 to 3 vote.
Many senators support term limits but say two isn't enough.
Supporters say the two-term limit has made it more difficult for lawmakers to challenge one another in debates on important state issues.
"I think that would improve the debate of the floor. We would end up with better bills, better laws," Sen. Steve Lathrop said.
"A little extra time would further improve our performance," Sen. Greg Adams said.
Opponents say the limits have not prevented lawmakers from managing state affairs.
"It's been said a lot that with term limits we lack the institutional knowledge. That's definitely I don't think is true," Sen. Kate Sullivan said.
"I think we need to listen to the will of the people. We need to listen to our constituents. Term Limits came from the citizens," Sen. Tom Hansen said.
Voters passed a constitutional amendment in 2000 that limited lawmakers to two consecutive terms, or eight years in office. Voters would ultimately decide to extend term limits. If the amendment meets final approval it will hit the ballet in November.