Democratic Rep. Rick Kriseman says the way to change the political culture in the state capitol is by keeping the politicians there longer. Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, filed a bill (HJR 207) which would call for a 2012 vote on a constitutional amendment to loosen the state’s term limit laws a bit and extend the terms for senators and House members to four and six years, respectively. If it is approved by three-fifths of the chamber of the Legislature and 60 percent of voters in 2012, the measure would extend the term-limits from eight to 12 years, which Kriseman said would make lobbyists less powerful in the Capitol. “To change the culture in Tallahassee, a place where lobbyists have increasingly gained more power and knowledge than legislators, and where fundraisers are as frequent as committee meetings, we must revisit the issue of term limits,” said Representative Kriseman. “Less campaigning allows for lawmakers to focus solely on policies which move Florida forward, and to address issues in the long-term, while still honoring the wishes of the voters who sought to place sensible limits on our length of time in office.” Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, filed similar legislation in the Senate (SJR 300).
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