Republican Florida State House Representative Keith Perry is going against the grain in his recently introduced bill to extend term limits for state legislators. Filed last week, HJR 613 would defy the will of the people by extending the terms already voted on by 77% of Floridians. Today a grassroots effort against Perry's bill made its way onto Facebook with the 'Save Florida Term Limits' page sprouting up and quickly gaining 'Likes' as word spreads of the plan.
HJR 613 would extend the terms of Florida State Senators from the current four years to six years while doubling the terms for Florida State House Representatives from the current two years to four years. It would affect the Florida Constitution amending s. 15, Art. III & s. 4, Art. VI & create a new section in Art. XII. As of this morning no Florida State Senator has filed a related bill.
According to the Florida Term Limits Blog, "A Quinnipiac University poll dated April 15, 2009, shows that across Florida, 79% of respondents opposed extending state legislative term limits from eight to 12 years. According to the executive summary, 'Opposition is strong among all political groups and throughout the state.' So this lends the question as to why would a Florida State Representative introduce a bill that would be so unpopular with the voters in Florida. Is he creating his own term limit with such a move?
There is also a move afoot to limit the terms for U.S. Senators and House Representatives. U.S. Term Limits has been advocating the position for a number of years, however their main challenge has been to convince politicians to vote themselves out of job. Such changes are easier on the state level as the threshold to get a referendum on the ballot for voters is easier than on the federal level.