I’m usually pessimistic when political leaders propose term limits that must be approved by other office holders in order to be enacted, especially when those term limits are state legislative limits.
First, although there are often a few lawmakers who do genuinely support mandatory term limits on their own office, they can rarely persuade a majority to agree. The exceptions tend to be small town councils and the like, not large state legislatures.
Second, the term limits that politicians like tend to be the lax, elastic, super-generous kind. Twelve years or more. And even then, other lawmakers don’t fall all over themselves rushing to sign up.
Any chance in South Carolina? There Representative Jim Merrill is an advocate of term limits on leadership positions in the legislature. He even advocated a four-year limit on the majority leader while he was in that position, then stepped down in obedience to that limit. I’m impressed.
Merrill also thinks there should be a limit on all members’ terms, but he sees that as too hard a sell. He says he will first push for term limits on committee chairmen.
Meanwhile, Nathan Ballentine in the house and Ray Cleary in the senate are filing companion bills to limit tenure to 12 years in the House, 16 years in the Senate.
I guess I’ll put my money on Merrill.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.