Terms of Service
By Polly Ward
This will be brief because the work session was fairly brief. There were two bills in public hearings before the work session, and I learned a lot about ancient and family burial grounds – though maybe not as much as Helen has gleaned on bear baiting.
The three bills covered in this State and Local Government work session were:
LD 182 (An Act to Eliminate Term Limits for Legislators)
The original ONTP motion was withdrawn so that Rep. Babbidge could offer an amendment that would change the number of terms members of the Legislature can serve from four to six. This would enable legislators to have more time to gain experience before going into leadership, and perhaps reduce the number of leaders who are termed out after only one term in leadership. Following Rep. Babbidge’s presentation of his amendment, the motion was made ONTP.
Action: ONTP. The vote was 10 ONTP, 1 OTP/AM and 2 absent.
LD 106 (Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Increase the Length of Terms of Senators to 4 Years)
This bill would have had all senators run for 4 year terms beginning in 2016. The Secretary of State’s Office testified NFNA due to the potential that 4 year terms would not mesh well with the requirements of redistricting every 10 years.
Action: ONTP. The committee voted 11-0.
LD 1012 (Resolution, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine to Increase the Length of Terms of Senators)
This bill would create 4 year terms for Senators with half running in 2016 and the other half running in 2018. The sponsor offered an amendment that would have senators run for 4, 4, and 2 year terms to resolve the potential with conflicts with redistricting requirements.
Action: ONTP. The original motion was OTP as amended; this motion failed. The next motion was ONTP with 6 in favor, 5 opposed and 2 absent.