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Bill To Undo Term Limits Passes Committee
by Joshua Delano ~ posted April 21, 2004
The first significant stride toward undermining legislative term
limits happened today with the passage of SB 114, which was filed by
Sen. Charles Jones, D-Monroe, out of the Senate and Governmental
Affairs Committee of which Jones is the chairman. The bill is a
duplicate of SB 68, which Sen. John Hainkel, R-New Orleans, filed
earlier. It will now be considered for a floor vote in the Senate.
The vote came down to a 3-2 victory with Jones, Sen. Noble Ellington
and Sen. Rob Marionneux voting in favor of passage and Sen. Jay
Dardenne and Sen. Chris Ullo in opposition. Two committee members,
Sen. Cleo Fields and Sen. Reggie Dupre were not in attendance.
Jones says the bill should pass the Senate floor. "Many who voted
for the bill (that created term limits) when we passed it have
recognized that they made a mistake. State legislatures were
following the federal lead (when term limits were made into law).
He pointed out that a majority of both chambers will be affected in
the legislative process if term limits are not repealed. "It
several terms to grasp the process and be able to effectively
represent the people you are elected to represent. You have to have
knowledge to be effective.
Adds Jones about the end result of term limits, "The peopleof
Louisiana will suffer because of term limits."
Jones summed up by relaying that he is a long time supporter of term
limits repeal. He says that when Hainkel attempted a repeal last
year, he was in court that day. Had he been there Jones would have
voted yay, a move that would have pulled the vote to a 4-3 victory,
instead of the 3-3 tie. In retrospect, Jones said that he feels the
people of Louisiana should have the opportunity to revisit this
issue and vote on it again in November. If passed out of both
chambers with a two thirds vote, term limits repeal would make it on
the state-wide ballot for a vote alongside that of the President, as
well as Louisiana Senator.
If this bill fails, the committee still has Hainkel's SB 68 to
consider as a second stab at repealing the term limits this year. If
term limits are not repealed, 50 percent of the elected officials in
both chambers will not be allowed to run for reelection in four
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