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Montana Terms of Office Increase, Measure C-42 (2004)

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The Montana Terms of Office Measure, also known as C-42, was a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment on the November 2, 2004 ballot in Montana, where it was defeated.[1]

The amendment sought to increase term limits on state legislators from 8 years in a 16-year period to 12 years in a 24-year period.

Election results

C-42 (Term Limits Increase)
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No299,16268.6%
Yes 136,931 31.4%

Official results via: The Montana Secretary of State

Support

The proponent argument was prepared by Senator Bob Keenan and Rep. Monica Lindeen.[2] They argued that extending term limits is in the best interest of the people of Montana, claiming that experience is critical to the state legislature and that the learning curve of a legislator "takes time."

They also argued that due to the limited amount of permissible terms, newly elected legislators feel compelled to seek leadership positions before they have the opportunity to observe, learn and reflect on the legislative process. "The result has been uneven leadership and a clear tilt in power to the Senate in what the framers envisioned was a co-equal House and Senate."[3]

Opposition

The opponent argument was prepared by Senator Jerry O'Neil, Rep. Larry Jent, and Trevis Butcher of Montanans in Action.[4] They argued that 8-years was a sufficient amount of time for legislators to learn their job, reminding voters that the President of the United States is also limited to just 8-years.

They also argued that term limits guarantee "new and innovative thinking as long time incumbents are moved out and replaced by people who are influenced more by their neighbors than by power brokers and lobbyists who wine and dine them."

They also argued that it's wrong to claim that the Senate lacks experienced members under the current term limits, since many Senators have years of previous experience from the House of Representatives.

They also accused the proponents of dishonesty over their statement that they don't want to "kill term limits," stating: "Don't be fooled. They know they can't convince Montanans to kill term limits all at once, so they are opting for the gradual approach."[5]

Campaign financing

No On 42/Keep Montanas 8 Year Term Limits, a group who opposed the measure, spent $88,543 towards the campaign against the amendment.[6]

See also

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