GOP House Speaker Says Term Limits Bad for Arkansas
Excerpts from three article included below: One on GOP House Speaker
Davy Carter & Term Limits, one from Jonesboro Sun Article opposing term
limits; and one on the Arkansas Term Limit Constitutional Amendment
Evidently our new GOP House Speaker
Davy Carter has begun a PR campaign to do away with term limits. A
Democrat from Jonesboro, Rep Butch Wilkins D-Bono, is proposing a bill that
allows state lawmakers to serve up to 14 years in the House or Senate.
Many of us remember how hard we worked to get this Term Limit amendment passed.
If we ever needed term limits, it is now so we can vote out those
legislators that are not true conservatives and win through primaries the real
conservatives and still win the November election in Arkansas since the Democrat
stronghold has been broken - that is unless these Republicans turn into
Democrats, and the public refuses to support them as well. GOP speaker
Davy Carter also refuses to get behind a movement to require recording committee
votes so people will know how legislators voted in committee.
I don't know how Democrat Butch
Wilkins thinks he can get a bill passed on term limits since Arkansas added,
through a constitutional ballot initiative, an amendment setting forth the terms
for this. See end of email for information about the Amendment to Arkansas
Constitution and how it passed 60% to 40%. Term limits is not perfect, but
is so much better than what we had before.
Jason Tolbert's article entitled
Term limits weaken state Legislature
(You can read the full article at this link:
or type in the name of the article in a search engine, and it is printed
several places. It is also in the Jonesboro Sun online but you have to have a
subscription to access it.
40 percent of our state legislators
are considered freshmen.
This young Legislature is a product
of the Arkansas law on term limits, passed overwhelmingly by voters in 1992. By
the election of 1998, the state’s most seasoned lawmakers began terming out.
Now, every legislator in office has been elected during the term-limits era.
The result is a Legislature with a
lot of newcomers but one with very little experience. That is especially true in
the House, where the average legislative experience among members is less than
two years. House Speaker Davy Carter, the chamber’s elected leader, took office
for the first time in 2009. Unsurprisingly, he is not a fan of term limits.
“Term limits are not working,” said
Carter, speaking at the Clinton School of Public Service last week. “It looks
pretty self- serving for a guy like me to tell you that, but its true. They
Carter described the impossible task
of a representative elected in November having to become an expert on issues
ranging from Medicaid to higher education or state budgetary issues by January.
It’s not like they can lean on a bunch of experienced lawmakers to be their
The original constitutional amendment
was drawn up by a small group of citizens organized by Tim Jacob, a copy machine
salesman in Arkansas whose brother, Paul, is a libertarian-minded activist who
has spearheaded the term limits movement nationwide. In an interview with the
Arkansas Policy Foundation, Tim Jacob said his motivation was to create “more
choices at the ballot box.”
In that respect, term limits has been
successful. With few incumbents and more open seats, there have been many more
contested races both in primaries and in general elections. Forced-out
incumbents have been replaced by fresh faces.
The result is that we have a
constitutional mandate for an inexperienced state Legislature. And as the House
speaker [Davy Carter] put it, Arkansans are being done a disservice.
Jason Tolbert is an accountant and
conservative political blogger. His blog — The Tolbert Report — is linked at
ArkansasNews.com. His email is
Full article can be found at this link:
Excerpts from Chris
Wessel Editorial (Editor of Jonesboro Sun) Jan 17, 2013 Tile of article:
Keep minimum wage, term limits status quo
As for restructuring term limits in
the Arkansas Legislature that would allow lawmakers to serve up to 14 years in
either chamber, we think that would have a negative effect on state government.
As it stands now, a state
constitutional amendment — passed by the voters — allows lawmakers to serve
three, two-year terms in the House and two four-year terms in the Senate. If you
can't get done what you want to accomplish in six years in the House and eight
years in the Senate, you need to go back to civilian life.
If it takes that long to become an
expert on how state government works and how it needs to be changed to work
better, you've taken far too long to do it.
Term limits are designed to keep
popular folks from serving term after term and getting little done except become
a celebrity. Term limits tell elected politicians : “You've got this much time
to make a difference. Go do it.”
It's exactly what we need in
As for the belief that such short
term limits lead to nonelected bureaucrats running the state, that would happen
no matter the length of service. The bureaucrats are the experts in state
government, and they are paid well to be so.
Arkansas Term Limits Initiative, Amendment 4 (1992)
At this link:
Amendment 4, also known as the
Arkansas Term Limits Initiative, appeared as an
initiated constitutional amendment on the
November 3, 1992 statewide ballot in
Arkansas, where it was approved.
It became Amendment 73 of the
Term Limits Initiative
Text of measure
This amendment provides a limit of two
terms for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State,
Treasurer, Auditor, Attorney General and Commissioner of State
Lands. It provides a limit of three terms for State Representatives,
and a limit of two terms for State Senators. It also provides that
persons having been elected to three or more terms as a member of
the United States House of Representatives from Arkansas shall not
be eligible to appear on the ballot for election to the United
States House of Representatives from Arkansas. Lastly, it provides
that any person having been elected to two or more terms as a member
of the United States Senate from Arkansas shall not be eligible to
appear on the ballot for election to the United States Senate from
In 1995, the United States Supreme Court
ruled that the part of Amendment 73 that placed limits on members of
U.S. Congress from Arkansas was unconstitutional; however, the
part of the law that placed limits on the
Arkansas State Legislature were left intact.
Posted January 18, 2013 by Women Action Group