Monday, November 26, 2007

Should we "extend" term limits?

We have been here since 1:30 p.m. on a Monday when usually, we don't even meet. We have not voted on anything yet. Apparently the issue is term limits.

Currently, House members get six years, Senate members get 8 years. A person could serve a total of 14 years, is he/she were fortunate enough to get elected to the House 3 times, and the Senate 2 times. But there has been a State Chamber-led effort to change term limits to 12 years, any way you want to use them. So, you could serve 12 years in the House, or 12 in the Senate, or any combination that adds up to twelve years. Seems innocent enough, right?

The problem at this point is that you need a minimum 60-day spread between the day you put something on the ballot and when the election happens. To put term limits on the January 15 Presidential ballot, we would have had to act by the 14th of November. What to do? Some have suggested we put off the primary until January 29th and put the term limit question on the ballot.

Oh, by the way, there are 42 or 43 Representatives who are done at the end of next year. With this term limits extension, we could stay another 6 years. In the interest of full disclosure, if it comes up for a vote, I am a "NO". I got here because of term limits, I advocated for them, I supported them. How hypocritical would it be for me to suddenly vote to extend my stay here, in Lansing?

And just one more thing...I understand there is a poll coming out that shows the Legislature in Michigan has an DISapproval rating of 82%, the lowest ever recorded. Do you think the voters want to send us back to Lansing for another term?

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