Kriseman seeks longer terms for lawmakers
State Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, wants to lengthen the terms for lawmakers. Senators would get six years instead of four, and House members would get four years instead of two. Voters would decide in 2012.
From the House Democrats' news release:
REP. RICK KRISEMAN FILES TERM-LIMIT LEGISLATION
HJR 207 Seeks To Change The Political Culture in Tallahassee
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- In an effort to tame the influence of money in politics and do away with Florida’s never-ending campaign cycles, Rep. Rick Kriseman (D-St. Petersburg) today filed legislation aimed at changing Florida’s current term-limit structure.
If passed, House Joint Resolution 207, would appear as a constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot. It would lengthen the terms of state senators from the current four-year terms to six-year terms, and it would extend terms of state representatives from the current two-year terms to four-year terms.
The amendment allows for no more than 12 consecutive years of service in office. Presently, the state constitution imposes an eight-year term limit on state legislators and statewide officeholders.
“To change the culture in Tallahassee, a place where lobbyists have increasingly gained more power and knowledge than legislators, and where fundraisers are as frequent as committee meetings, we must revisit the issue of term limits,” said Representative Kriseman. “Less campaigning allows for lawmakers to focus solely on policies which move Florida forward, and to address issues in the long-term, while still honoring the wishes of the voters who sought to place sensible limits on our length of time in office.”
Senator Mike Bennett (R-Bradenton) has filed similar legislation in the state Senate.