Longer Term Limits Being Discussed For State Lawmakers

Longer term limits could be in the works for the Michigan House and Senate. Discussions have started between the group Voters Not Politicians, which got an overhaul of the state’s redistricting process passed last fall, along with Republican legislative leaders and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield updated their caucuses on the talks on Tuesday.

The proposal hasn’t been finalized and will likely be tied to pending bills to increase state government transparency by making the Legislature and governor’s office subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, enacting a waiting period before a lawmaker can become a lobbyist after leaving office, and requiring elected officials to fill out financial disclosures.

Right now, a 1992 constitutional amendment limits people to a total of six years in the House and eight years in the Senate. The idea being floated would extend that from 14 to 20 years, served in either or both chambers. Voters would get the final say, and the goal is to have it on the ballot in November 2020.