If passed, Senate Joint Resolution 13 would place a constitutional amendment regarding term limits for all statewide elected officials before voters Nov. 5, 2013.
The term limits resolution applies to the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, comptroller, land commissioner, agriculture commissioner, railroad commissioners and attorney general. It would not apply to state representatives and senators.
Legislation to limit elected officials' terms has been introduced in past sessions but gained little ground. Eltife said he would prefer all elected officials, including state senators and representatives, be limited as well, but he wanted to introduce a resolution that “might have a chance.”
“All I am asking is for the voters of this state to get a chance to decide once and for all whether statewide elected officials should have term limits,” he said. “I did that to give it a realistic shot at passing.”
JoAnn Fleming, Grassroots America – We the People executive director and chairman of the TEA Party Advisory Caucus Committee, said she will support the bill throughout the legislative process and hopefully see voters pass the constitutional amendment limiting terms overwhelmingly next November.
“I could not be more behind Sen. Eltife's bill if I had filed it myself,” she said. “I think it's smart how he went about this. How can (legislators) object to letting the voters decide?”
Smith County Republican Party Chairman Ashton Oravetz said he agrees the legislation has a better chance of passage by excluding representatives and senators, but that there will still be pressure from statewide office holders to kill the bill.
Oravetz said he wholeheartedly supports term limits as a way to prevent “career politicians” and believes if it makes it to ballots voters would overwhelmingly pass the constitutional amendment.
“Some people have a philosophical point of view that there are already term limits – you limit them by voting them out of office. But it doesn't really work that way a lot of times,” he said. “This would help.”