- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska’s longest-serving lawmaker delivered an April Fool’s shocker to his colleagues when he announced that he was resigning.

Sen. Ernie Chambers looked somber Tuesday as he took the microphone during legislative floor debate. The Omaha senator told his fellow lawmakers that he had decided to step down, and he planned to submit his resignation to the governor and the speaker.

Lawmakers fell silent as the 76-year-old spoke. Chambers then grinned and said, “April Fools,” and the room erupted with laughter.

Chambers says the joke was intended to lighten the mood during a heated budget debate.

Chambers was first elected to the Legislature in 1970 and held office until January 2009, when he briefly was forced out by term limits. He was re-elected to another four-year term in 2012.

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