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Term Limits Frustrating to Lawmakers

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A provision of the Ohio Constitution that took hold more than a decade ago may get some renewed attention in the coming year. Legislative term limits, which were approved with enthusiasm by voters in 1992, are falling into some disfavor with lawmakers - from both sides of the aisle. ideastream's Bill Rice reports.

Thursday, December 28, 2006 at 10:20 am

There is no clarion call for eliminating term limits, but some lawmakers are going more public with their frustration over having to cut their tenures short after just eight years. State Senator Eric Fingerhut has reached his limit and leaves his office next week. He's one of four legislators - two republicans and two democrats - who sponsored a resolution this year calling for lengthening the limit to 12 years - three terms for senators, and six for house members. He says it can take years to develop the necessary expertise and political acumen to make positive changes through the legislative process.

Eric Fingerhut: So I think it's really, in the end, short sighted on the part of the state to limit people. It forces legislators to leave office probably just as they're reaching their most effective point.

State Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett has said he would support a 12 year limit. Since term limits were imposed under a constitutional amendment, voters would have to approve another amendment to lengthen or abolish limits.