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Florida term limit lawsuits leads to possible amendment

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December 6, 2011

Florida

By Bailey Ludlam

TALLAHASSEE, Florida: The question of whether voters in county charters are constitutionally allowed to set term limits for county officials has been raised in several lawsuits recently but the final decision may up to voters in 2012.[1]

The proposed legislatively-referred constitutional amendment was filed in the House by Rep. John Wood and in the Senate by Sen. Jeremy Ring for consideration for the Florida 2012 ballot.

The amendment would specify that voters in a charter county do have the power to set term limits for constitutional officers and county commissioners. While some interpret the current constitution to allow voters to do so, others argue that it is not explicitly stated and thus unconstitutional. This issue has been raised multiple times in court and is currently being discussed in Polk County.[1]

"It would clarify that voters have the power through their county charter to set term limits for constitutional officers and county commissioners. I personally feel reading the constitution that common sense says voters have that right, but the courts have said otherwise, so we will just leave it up to the voters to decided," said Wood.[1]

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