Rhode Island Legislature to debate term limits

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April 14, 2012

Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, Rhode Island: The State Senate is set to take up legislation this week concerning term limits for members of the General Assembly. Introduced by Senator Dawson Hodgson (R), the bill would let voters decide if they wanted their State Senators to be limited to two consecutive four-year terms, and their Representatives to be limited to four consecutive two-year terms.[1]

Currently, Senators in Rhode Island have two year terms, and this legislation would lengthen the term two four years. In defense of his bill, freshman Senator Hodgson claimed, "As a as a first-term senator, I’m acutely aware of how quickly a two year term elapses. Longer terms will allow senators to focus more on doing the work of the people rather than focusing on re-election efforts, itself a time-consuming process." By comparison, there are currently 15 other states with term limits, and in each of those states, voters approved term limits measures by overwhelming majorities.[2]

The bill is set to be debated by the Senate Committee on Special Legislation and Veterans’ Affairs this week.[3]

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