Term limits legislation prefiled in Alabama legislature
The freshman class in the State House of Representatives is already hard at work attempting to turn their campaign promises into conservative reforms.
Wednesday, State Rep. David Wheeler (R-Vestavia Hills) announced that he has prefiled a bill to enact term limits for members of the Alabama legislature.
“I have been a long time supporter of term limits. It was one of the issues I was most asked about during the last campaign. Poll after poll shows that Americans overwhelmingly support them. I think this measure addresses that desire, without penalizing incumbents who have selflessly served our great state,” Wheeler said in a press release.
The bill, which was not immediately available on the state’s online prefiled list, proposes an amendment to the state constitution, placing a two-term limit on state House and Senate members and allowing anyone who filled a mid-term vacancy an additional two years of service, starting with the 2022 elections.
While this would also apply to incumbents running for re-election in that election cycle, their previous years of service would not be counted against them. It also allows members of the House to run for the Senate, and visa versa, after their initial two terms.
If passed, the measure must then be approved by the voters in the November 2020 general election.
The legislation was prefiled on National Term Limits Day, which is held annually in honor of the 1951 ratification of the 22nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which imposed term limits on the presidency.
Critics of legislative term limits often list taking power away from voters and directly accountable elected officials just to hand it to unelected staffers, special interests and lobbyists as main drawbacks of the policy.
Wheeler’s announcement came the same day State Rep. Wes Allen (R-Troy) said that he has filed a bill aimed at shrinking the size of government and easing the overall regulatory burden.
The 2019 regular session of the Alabama legislature begins March 5.
Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn