Ohio lawmakers coalesced at the last minute to approve a deal that could make its legislative maps fairer and more competitive — and could open the way to examine letting those legislators serve longer in office. With redistricting reform headed to Ohio voters in 2015, many legislators believe now is the time to review the state’s term limit restrictions. Rep. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, helped lead the redistricting effort, which he said had to happen to begin even examining term limits. “Without a fairer system, some legislators were more reluctant to deal with extending terms,” he said. The Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission has begun discussions on the issue, Executive Director Steven Hollon said. He said a few presentations were given on term limits and that it was mentioned as a topic that could be tackled in 2015, but no definitive plans have yet been created.
Ohio voters approved term limits in 1992, limiting legislators to serving eight consecutive years in one legislative chamber. The rules do not prevent legislators from going between the House and Senate. They also initially limited congressional terms, but that portion was found unconstitutional.
Sykes, who could not run for re-election this year because of term limits, said it makes sense for the commission to examine the issue. He sits on the commission’s committee examining the issue.
Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Copley, also was instrumental in pushing redistricting reform. Although he said his focus will be on including congressional districts with that reform, he agreed that it made sense to examine term limits.
Full Article: Will fairer districts mean longer Ohio legislative terms?.