Michigan’s Term Limits Law: Time For A Change?
I reported a few weeks ago about the group Voters Not Politicians (VNP) looking to team up with state politicians to possibly make a run at changing Michigan’s term limits law.
A constitutional amendment was passed by Michigan voters in 1992. This law limits Michigan lawmakers’ to three two-year terms in the House and two four-year terms in the Senate, or 14 years total if the lawmaker is elected to serve in both chambers.
The excitement about possible movement on changing this law is due to the fact that the VNP group was the group that ran the successful 2018 ballot Proposal 2 campaign to create an independent redistricting commission.
Senate Majority Leader Republican Mike Shirkey at the Mackinac Policy Conference said:
Term limits are a problem in Michigan, and I’m planning on thinking about this and processing it until I come up with a suggestion or a solution…I don’t have a solution right now. I just know it’s a problem.
Even the Michigan Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley said the chamber is open to the possibility of partnering with both traditional and non-traditional allies on the issue.
There appears to be more people and groups who believe that term limits in Michigan is not producing the results they thought it would. They believe term limits is creating politicians who only serve a short period of time and never gain enough experience with the problems we have in Michigan. Thus little experience translates too little ability to confront and attempt to solve those issues with effective policy.
That is one side of the debate, the other side really revolves around the inability of Michigan citizens, in fact all citizens of the Unites States to vote out politicians who are not doing a good job or the right things for our state or country. The re-election rate for incumbents is in the 80-90% range almost year after year. Evidence to that problem is the number of incompetent, corrupt, selfish politicians we see getting re-elected every year. Politicians at the State and Federal level have very low approval ratings but they keep getting re-elected. We fall under the spell that everybody else’s Congressmen, Senator or state politician is bad but mine is not.
I would find it interesting which politicians in the state would approve changes to the Term Limit law. From the overall perspective of the party’s the easiest way for a political party in the minority to regain a majority is to win open seats. Those being seat with no incumbent running. What creates the greatest number of open seats; well term limits do.
Individual politicians would certainly want to do away with term limits or at least lengthen them but from the perspective of the party perhaps not.