Release: May 5, 2008
Senate Dems Reject Term Limits Compromise, So Vote to Occur on Current Bill
State Senate Democrat leaders have refused a request to help bring compromise language for a referendum on term limits for statewide officials to a vote in the State Senate. So, the Senate will have to vote on the existing proposal, the bill’s authors said Monday.
“Senate Democrat leaders have refused to help us bring the bill out of a conference committee with the changes that were suggested by the Attorney General. So instead of sending this bill to conference, we plan to push ahead for a Senate vote on the bill as it is written. We’re not going to allow the Senate Democrat leadership to quietly kill this issue in a conference committee. There will be a vote,” stated Randy Brogdon, R-Owasso.
“The intent of the current language is that the term limits apply prospectively, not retroactively. We have made a good faith effort to help reassure the attorney general and others that the term limits won’t be retroactive by agreeing to incorporate General Edmondson’s legislative language in our proposal. So it is very disappointing that Senate Democrat leaders aren’t interested in working with us to make that happen,” Brogdon said.
"All along we have said the intent of this bill is not for it to apply to any seated statewide office holder retroactively, and that is still the case," said Worthen, R-Oklahoma City. "We made a good faith effort to work with the attorney general to allay his concerns with the bill, but the Senate Democrats have made it clear they are not willing to continue to work on the language in conference. The people of Oklahoma deserve to have a voice on this issue, so we will move forward with a vote on the bill in its current form."
Brogdon said he is hopeful a majority of senators will support the SB 1987. Seven Democrat senators voted for the term limits bill in March.
“Term limits are good public policy, so I remain hopeful a majority of senators will agree to send this to a vote of the people. It’s hard to envision seven senators flip-flopping just to help the Democrat leadership kill term limits on a partisan, party-line vote,” Brogdon said.
Sen. Owen Laughlin, R-Woodward, was the Senate author of SB 1987, but has transferred the bill to Brogdon. It was Brogdon who authored an amendment to the bill on the Senate floor in March to include the term limits referendum. Worthen is the House author of SB 1987.
If approved by the Senate, the people would vote this November whether to apply a 12-year term limit on statewide offices such as lieutenant governor, attorney general, state auditor, and corporation commissioners.
For more information