Shortly after the N.C. General Assembly adjourned Wednesday, Senate leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, released a new proposal for a constitutional amendment term limiting legislative leaders.

In brief, the House wanted leaders limited to two consecutive terms (or four years) in office, while the Senate wanted the limit set at four terms (or eight years) in office. Both chambers have passed amendments that reflect their respective positions on the issue. They didn’t resolve differences before adjournment.

As a compromise, Berger suggested “a two-term (four year) limit for legislative leaders and a one-term (four year) limit for the governor — ensuring they are in office no longer than four consecutive years.” That would bring greater parity between the governor and legislative leaders, in Berger’s estimation.

“I’m confident we will reach a compromise with the House, but to better balance the power between the two branches of government, leadership in both should be limited to the same number of years,” Berger said.

Until the 1970s, North Carolina governors only could run for one term (consecutive or otherwise). The constitution of 1971 extended that to two consecutive terms.