Monday, July 16, 2018

Constitution Revision commissioner Donalds proposes changes to her school board term limit proposal

After proposing limits to Florida's school board member terms, Constitution Revision commissioner Erika Donalds got two messages loud and clear: Floridians seemed to like the idea, but they preferred not to count time served against sitting officials.

So as the idea advances in the Constitution Revision Commission, Donalds has suggested changing the language that already won approval at the committee level. Instead of saying board members could serve no more than eight consecutive years, beginning with service started in 2015, she seeks to start the limits with terms begun after the Nov. 6, 2018, election.

"I just wanted to put that to rest and implement it in the same manner as other term limits were," Donalds said.

Term limits for lawmakers, the governor and other positions were imposed after voters approved them, without counting previous time served.

"This would make it consistent," said Donalds, also a Collier County School Board member.

She did not consider changing her recommendation from two terms to three, as the state Senate discussed during its brief debate over a bill that did not move out of committee.

"That hasn't been brought up," Donalds said. "I believe it should be two terms."

Past coverage: School board term limits advance in Florida Senate — with a slight twist

Amendments to the CRC proposals can continue for about another week, leading to the commission's session the week of March 19. That's when the members will decide which of its remaining proposals will go to drafting.

The commission would meet again in April to vote on which items it wants to put on the November ballot.

The CRC continues to take public comment. Its next session will be at 1 p.m. Tuesday at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg.

Past coverage: Term limit proposal gets Florida school board members talking 

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