Nevadans overwhelmingly approved term limits for most elected officials more than a decade ago.
Now, as the time nears for those limits to take effect, there's talk of a legal challenge to overturn them. Ffor some time now, there's been growing concern these term limits could be bad news for northern Nevada.
Senator Mark Amodei, Carson City, termed out 2010. Along with Maurice Washington Washoe District 2 and Randolph Townsend District 4.
In the Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, Sheila Leslie, Bernie Anderson...gone the same year.... And in 2012....Senators Mike McGinness, Dina Titus....and the key departure of them all....Majority Leader Bill Raggio. The voters in their districts may want to keep them, but since 1996, they've been marked with expiration dates, time served, ineligible for re-election.
They have plenty of company. By 2012, the Senate will lose 13 of its 21 members, the Assembly 13 of 42. Those leaving will be leaders, committee chairs and a lot of experience and knowledge will walk out the door with them.
Former Assemblyman Bob Price says that will be the state's loss. Like any endeavour...he says...the longer you do it, the more you learn the better you become. Price is unaffected by the limits. He retired after the 2003 session after serving 28 years in the lower house, the second longest service in state history.
He says he understands the distrust many have about politicians, but says voters have the power of term limits every election and reforms passed since term limits help voters better track the money in politics and make more informed choices in the voting booth.
Still it's going to be difficult and risky to try to overturn the will of the people...one reason few concerned are talking openly.
Eventually it's likely a coalition of groups will file a lawsuit and we'll see if term limits will stand.
The term limits were born of a conservative populist movement that started in the late 1980's and peaked about the time Nevadans were voting for the 2nd time to put the limits in the state constitution. In all. 20 states adopted them.
Those we adopted were among the more liberal. They limit lawmakers to 12 years in each office, constitutional officers to 2 4 year terms. Mayors, commissioners and councilmen to 3 4 year terms.
Term limit fever has abated. The last state to adopt them was Nebraska in 2000. Six have since rescinded them.