There’s a shakeup happening in the Michigan Senate.
House members had already felt the impact of term limits in 1998, when 64 members became ineligible to serve again. Now it is the Senate’s turn. In the coming session, 27 new members are taking seats in the 38-member state Senate; the House will see 50 new members.
But the Detroit News says it isn’t even happening. “The Senate is getting a transfusion of old blood from the House,” says the News . “Of the 27 freshmen to be sworn in for the 38-member Senate, 26 are current or former members of the state House just a quick stroll across the Capitol.”
Lobbyist Bill Rustem confirms that “If the goal of term limits was fresh faces, it didn’t work.”
Hey, be careful what you wish for, guys. After all, most voters would probably not object if term limits were even tougher. In any case, the claim is bogus. Thanks to the limits that went into effect in 1998, many of the House members who have now found a place in the Senate have been in the legislature for just six years, or even less.
These comparatively short legislative resumes hardly turn the Capitol into a “giant recycling bin.” And transplants from the House will have to leave at the end of two senatorial terms. So the fresh faces will keep on coming.
No matter how you slice it, term limits invigorate electoral competition and prevent encrusted old-boy networks from sending down permanent roots in either chamber.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.