The Norman Transcript


August 27, 2010

Term limits again a ballot choice

NORMAN — Twenty years after Oklahomans elected to place a 12-year cap on the amount of time state legislators could serve, voters again will head to the polls this November to consider instituting term limits for statewide officials.

State Question 747 would amend the state Constitution to limit service as lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer, commissioner of labor, auditor and inspector, superintendent of public instruction and insurance commissioner to eight years. The governor is the only statewide elected office with a current term limit; however, it applies only to two consecutive terms.

With the effects of the legislative limits just being realized in the last six years, advocates of State Question 747 say the measure will further cut down on corruption and keep elected leaders from amassing too much power. Meanwhile, others argue the limits keep some of the best and most experienced officials from serving.

Legislative term limits

In 1990, Oklahoma became the first state in the country to set a ceiling on the amount of time members of the House of Representatives and the Senate could serve in either chamber. Since the change was not retroactive, legislators began to be term-limited by 2004 and a total of 85 lawmakers have been barred from running again in the six-year period because of the change.

Rep. Jason Murphey, R-Guthrie, who sponsored the legislation in 2009 that led to state question 747, said term limits in the legislature already have shown benefits. He said a fresh roster of lawmakers provides new ideas to the process and prevents legislators from building too much influence that can be abused over the years.

“This way (elected officials) will have to live with the laws that they create,” he said. “What our founding fathers envisioned is that we will have a citizen legislature and not so much of an elite class of politicians who can be there forever.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet crashes with 116 on board

    OUAGADOUGO, Burkina Faso — An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Very bad week: Airline disasters come in a cluster

    WASHINGTON — Nearly 300 passengers perish when their plane is shot out of the sky. Airlines suspend flights to Israel’s largest airport after rocket attacks. Two airliners crash during storms. Aviation has suffered one of its worst weeks ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 5:58 a.m. indecent exposure, 100 block of West Comanche Street · 6:08 a.m. burglary in progress, 100 block of West Hayes Street · 8:09 a.m. larceny report, 100 ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Angela Beth Mendinghall, 36, unauthorized use of a vehicle; driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license · Daniel ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Immigrant children being placed with sponsors

    OKLAHOMA CITY — The federal government says more than 200 unaccompanied children in Oklahoma have been placed with sponsors so far this year. The federal government released a state-by-state breakdown Thursday of the numbers of ...

    July 25, 2014

  • OCU prepares to move law library downtown

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Oklahoma City University’s School of Law is moving its library into a historic building in downtown Oklahoma City....

    July 25, 2014

  • Grad to serve as delegate at camp

    William Long, 2014 Norman North High School graduate, recently represented Oklahoma as a delegate at the 2014 National Youth Science Camp. Long joined 100 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eight other ...

    July 25, 2014