AP: Four state bills to extend term limits going nowhere
TOPEKA (AP) — Proposals to extend term limits to nearly every major state and federal office in Kansas is unlikely to move forward after no one spoke on their behalf Tuesday during a Statehouse hearing, a committee chairman said.
The proposals would place limits on state legislators, members of the Kansas delegation to the U.S. House and Senate, as well as the state treasurer, attorney general, secretary of state and commissioner of insurance.
The idea appeared in bill form in January.
Currently only the governor is limited to two consecutive four-year terms in office.
One proposal would limit the state treasurer and insurance commissioner to three consecutive four-year terms. Another measure would limit the attorney general and secretary of state to two four-year terms.
Members of Congress from Kansas would be limited to 12 consecutive years per chamber — two straight terms of six years in the U.S. Senate, or six terms of two years each in the House. However, a 1995 U.S. Supreme Court opinion held that states couldn't adopt additional requirements to hold the office beyond age and citizenship qualifications.
In the state Legislature, Kansas House members would be limited to four two-year terms in a lifetime, while senators could serve a maximum of two four-year terms.
According to staff research, legislators considered two constitutional amendments to limit terms in 1994 but neither were adopted by legislators nor put to public vote.
Sen. Dennis Pyle, a Hiawatha Republican and chairman of the committee, said because of the two-year legislative cycle that the bills would remain in committee through 2014. He has no particular opinion on the merits of instituting term limits but is willing to listen if legislators want to have the discussion.
"You can argue that it's good to get a fresh set of eyes on the issue," Pyle said.