Voters may get to decide whether to change the term limit for South Dakota legislators. Senate Joint Resolution 1, introduced on Wednesday, asks voters in November to amend the South Dakota Constitution to limit legislators to two four-year terms instead of the current limit of four two-year terms. The amendment wouldn’t change the total of eight years that a legislator can serve in the House or Senate. Once legislators reach their term limit, they’ll still be eligible to serve in the other legislative chamber or sit out an election before running again for the same chamber.
Legislative leaders were split in their support to change the term of office when asked about it during press conferences on Friday, but at that point they hadn’t yet seen the exact language of the resolution.
Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert, D-Mission, said the term limit is worth a conversation, including whether the Senate and House should have different term lengths or limits. He added that if term limits are on the table, the Legislature should also discuss redistricting as part of it.