LANSING – State Representative Andy Schor (D-Lansing) today introduced a joint resolution to adjust term limits for members of the Michigan House of Representatives and the Michigan Senate and to put in place restrictions on lobbying after serving in public office. Both initiatives are meant to address concerns he heard throughout his campaign for the state House and have significant bipartisan support.
“One of the most prevalent issues that I heard from folks in my district last summer was a concern about the turnover and experience of legislators,” Schor said. “While they were excited to support my run for the state House, they were also disappointed to see former state Representative Joan Bauer forced from office so soon after she was elected.” Schor added that as tougher issues come before the Legislature, the value of institutional knowledge and elected experience to the legislative process has become clearer than ever. He noted, “Michigan has some of the most restrictive term limits in the nation. Too often, these short terms force public servants out of office who would otherwise continue to be capable, effective advocates for their communities and our state.” Schor also called attention to concerns voiced by residents about elected officials leaving the Legislature and immediately becoming lobbyists.
Schor’s legislation, HJR S, adjusts current term limits for Michigan House and Senate members to allow a person to be elected to the office of state representative no more than six times and to the office of state Senate no more than three times, making for a total of twenty-four years of service for those regularly elected. Now, lawmakers are restricted to three two-year terms of service in the House and to two four-year terms in the Senate. Schor’s joint resolution also bans former members of the Michigan House or Senate from becoming lobbyists or a lobbyist agent for the two years immediately following their last term in office.
“I’m confident that this measure will help our state avoid some of the negative effects of frequent turnover and loss of talent in the Legislature and help prevent the appearance of impropriety of behalf of lawmakers by preventing them from immediately becoming lobbyists upon their departure from office,” Schor added.