So Much for Reform

It's been a tough year for political reformers in Florida. First, an attempt to take redistricting out of the hands of legislators got knocked off ...
by | May 10, 2006

It's been a tough year for political reformers in Florida. First, an attempt to take redistricting out of the hands of legislators got knocked off the ballot because of a technicality. Now legislators themselves, having voted last year to extend their current 8-year term limits, have reversed course and yanked that referendum from this year's ballot.

Legislators wanted to extend their maximum allowable service to 12 years per chamber. That would allow individual members to get up to speed on procedures and policy and still have time left over to enact some quality legislation.

This approach is the compromise devoutly wished for by term limits opponents -- a group that includes nearly everyone in state government. But everyone outside of state government still likes term limits pretty well. Arguments that it hampers legislatures fall on deaf ears.

That's why the modest idea of extending, rather than abolishing, limits hasn't gathered much momentum. Florida Governor Jeb Bush, channeling his inner Bon Jovi, said the proposed amendment "was going down in a blaze of glory."