Petition Signatures Submitted For Plan To Put Term Limits In Constitution

Aug 31, 2015

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A group has submitted petition signatures to the Ohio Secretary of State’s office to start the effort to allow voters to decide the fate of a proposal putting stronger term limits in the state’s constitution.

Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles explains.  

The group calling itself Eight is Enough wants Ohioans to approve an amendment to limit state lawmakers to no more than 8 lifetime years in one chamber and no more than 12 years in the legislature entirely. Chairman Ray Warrick, who also heads up the Warren County Republican Party, says he worries the constitutional modernization commission is being used as a way to get rid of term limits.

“It is a sneak attack if you will. It will be a ruse where the commission will recommend to the general assembly, oh geez, we think you ought to weaken term limits and then the general assembly could vote to do that to further their careers under the cover of well, the commission says that it is a good idea and we are just doing what the commission suggested,” Warrick says.

Catherine Turcer with Common Cause Ohio says term limits were intended to eliminate career politicians by allowing people to come in on a regular basis with a fresh perspective. But she says current term limits are not allowing that.

“It can be really annoying when they are bopping back and forth between the houses and playing musical chairs but what it gives the voters of Ohio is that we have more experience at the Statehouse,” Turcer says.

Turcer wants to get rid of term limits altogether. She says term limits, in theory, sound good but in practice, leave lawmakers more beholden to their political parties and lobbyists. A poll in 2014 from the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute showed most Ohioans feel term limits have helped the state, and 70% say term limits should be kept at eight years.