A proposal that would extend term limits for state legislators to 12 years easily passed its first Senate committee Tuesday, but even the sponsor of the constitutional amendment says the measure faces an uphill fight to become law. The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, on a 6-2 vote, passed the legislation (SJR 902), which would add four years to the current eight-year term limits.
Sen. Rene Garcia, a Hialeah Republican who is sponsoring the bill, said the current term limits have weakened elected lawmakers’ ability to influence what happens in state government. “What has happened in my time in this process is that I’ve seen where lobbyists become more influential in the process than some members themselves,” Garcia said. “Staff have also become more influential than members themselves.”