The Florida Legislature has passed legislation making it the first in the nation to call for an Article V amendment convention exclusive to the subject of putting term limits on Congress.
The memorial, HM 417, passed the State House and State Senate by an overwhelming voice vote. It is part of a national movement led by U.S. Term Limits to fight careerism in Washington. Article V gives state legislators a way to make term limits on Congress a reality without needing congressional approval. For the convention to be called, 34 states must pass similar legislation. If the convention proposes an amendment, 38 states must ratify it for it to be added to the U.S. Constitution.
The President of U.S. Term Limits, Philip Blumel said “Seventy-five percent of Americans support term limits on Congress, including huge majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. This is a rare, truly bipartisan issue with national support.” This bill was supported by both Democrats and Republicans in the State House and Senate throughout the process and passed unanimously through two committees.
This effort in the Florida Legislature was led by Florida Rep. Larry Metz, R-Groveland and State Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville.
“Rep. Larry Metz and State Sen. Aaron Bean have been an integral part of the process in Florida and in making Florida the first state in the nation to call for term limits,” Blumel added. “There are now 11 states hot on Florida’s heels, and the progress here has laid the groundwork for their success.”
Since 34 states must call for the Term Limits Convention to make it happen, U.S. Term Limits has spread its grassroots resources throughout the country. In addition to Florida, the group is also targeting Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Colorado, South Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee and Utah.
The Term Limits Convention will not impact the Florida Legislature, as they already have term limits which were voted on by the people in 1992 with 77 percent of the vote. That vote on Amendment 9 also enacted eight-year term limits on federal and state officials but, in 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not enact congressional term limits by ballot measure. Thus congressional term limits need to be enacted by amendment to the U.S. Constitution.