Delaware Democrats pressured over term limits



(The Center Square) — A Delaware GOP lawmaker is renewing a push for a constitutional amendment to set term limits for the state Legislature and other top elected officials.

In a letter to state Senate Executive Committee members, state Sen. Eric Buckson, R-Dover, called the panel to “take action” on his proposal to amend Delaware’s constitution to implement term limits for lawmakers and statewide elected officials.

“Our system was not designed with the idea that individuals would make elected public service a career,” Buckson said in a statement. “To make the best decisions for the constituents one represents, you must be of the people, not above them.”

Buckson filed the legislation earlier this year calling for an amendment to the constitution to set term limits, but the measure died in a Democratic-controlled Senate committee.

Under the proposal, senators could be elected no more than four, four-year terms, while representatives would be limited to seven two-year terms. Constitutional offices, such as the attorney, general auditor and state treasurer, would be limited to two four-year terms.

Currently, only the governor and lieutenant governor’s posts are term-limited, and those elected to the offices can serve no more than two four-year terms under state law.

Democratic Gov. John Carney is term-limited and won’t be allowed to seek re-election to a third term in office next year.

In a statement to news outlets, Senate Democratic Caucus spokesperson Scott Goss said the measure didn’t pass in the recent session because “Sen. Buckson failed to convince a majority of his colleagues on the committee to support his bill.”

“He failed to convince a single resident of the State of Delaware to provide public comment during that hearing and failed to garner a letter of written testimony from the public since then,” the spokesman said.

Buckson said setting term limits for other elected officials “isn’t radical” and would be “a step in the right direction to bringing back good, responsible governance.”

Even if the Democratic-controlled Legislature decides to take up this proposal, it would need to be approved by the House and Senate in two consecutive legislative sessions.

Delaware is the only state in the nation that does not require voter approval to adopt constitutional amendments.



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