Proposal would set 16-year limit on Ohio lawmaker terms

The Ohio Statehouse (WBNS-10TV)

COLUMBUS, Ohio — A proposed constitutional amendment would set strict 16-year limits on legislators serving in the Ohio House or Senate.

Ohioans for Legislative Term Limits filed signatures and petition language with Attorney General Dave Yost on Thursday with a goal of placing the amendment on the Nov. 3 ballot.

The organization wants to close a loophole in current term limits law that has allowed multiple legislators to jump back and forth between the House and Senate after serving the current eight-year limit in each chamber.

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If approved, the 16-year limit would not begin until Jan. 1, 2021, allowing current legislators, such as House Speaker Larry Householder, to serve through 2037 instead of being forced out by current term limits in 2025.

Critics including Householder say term limits have given more power to lobbyists and the governor’s office.

Householder on Thursday called term limits’ impact “pretty oppressive” for Ohioans and said it gives the governor power over lawmakers in Columbus by offering executive branch jobs once a legislator is forced out.

“That’s a carrot that the governor can always offer, and say, ‘Well, you know, be good while you’re in the legislature and here’s your chance,’ ” Householder said, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

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