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Florida Lawmakers Ask For Congressional Term Limits

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The Florida Legislature is calling on Congress to limit the terms its members can serve. In memoranda passed by both Florida chambers Thursday, Florida lawmakers lamented the prevalence of so-called “career politicians.”

Sen. Aaron Bean (R-Fernandina Beach) says he’s confident the measure will get the support of the 33 other states required to change the country’s constitution.

“It’s a marathon to change our constitution, you’re exactly right, but it starts with the first step, it starts with the first state, and Florida was taking that first step, and we are the first state,” Bean says. “So, we have a long way to go, but this is the way it happens.”

Florida’s vote to support Congressional term limits is part of a nationwide push orchestrated by the group U.S. Term Limits.

The movement for Congressional term limits gained steam in the mid-90s as incumbent reelection rates rose to nearly 100 percent. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled around the same time states cannot merely legislate limits on its representatives, but rather an amendment to the U.S. Constitution must be adopted.

Ryan Benk is a former WJCT News reporter who joined the station in 2015 after working as a news researcher and reporter for NPR affiliate WFSU in Tallahassee.