For Immediate Release
Raleigh, NC - Earlier this week Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) filed HB 180 - Legislative 4-Year Terms - along with Rep. Harry Warren (R-Rowan), Rep. Chris Malone (R-Wake), and Rep. Rick Glazier (D-Cumberland).
The bill would offer an amendment to the NC Constitution that would extend legislative terms to four years and institute term limits for leadership positions. The Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate could not serve in those positions for more than two consecutive regular sessions of the General Assembly. If the bill passes, it would be submitted to voters for approval as a constitutional amendment on the general election ballot in November 2016.
"Extending legislative terms to four years would allow legislators more time to focus on their service to the public," Hardister said. "As of now, members of the legislature spend nearly half of their time running for office. This requires us to spend a considerable amount of time raising campaign funds, which makes it difficult to focus on governing."
As for terms limits for leadership positions, Hardister said that it makes sense to limit power where it is most concentrated. "Most of the power in the legislature is vested in the Speaker of the House and the President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Therefore, it makes sense to place limits on how long an individual can serve in those positions."
Hardister also indicated that he is open to ideas on how to amend the bill as it moves through the legislative process.
"This is simply an idea on how to make our government better," Hardister said. "I am open to ideas on how to improve this legislation. I look forward to discussing it with constituents and also with fellow legislators."
Rep. Jon Hardister