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Florida House Committee Knocks Down 8-Year Term Limits Proposal for County Commissioners

“Eight is enough” has been the mantra of Florida GOP leaders over many years.  Many in the Republican Party felt with 8-year limits put on State elected officials and those in the Florida legislature, the idea of limiting terms should also trickle down to the local level.

Polling numbers in recent years show more than 70 percent of Florida voters support the idea of term limits on county commissioners. As of lately, the number favors a term limit of 8 years compared to 12.

Florida State Representative Michelle Salzman proposed legislation to get the ball moving forward that would stop county commissioners who have already served an eight-year term from running for re-election.

State numbers show that only eleven counties in Florida, that have local charters, already have in place 8- or 12-year term limit for its county commissioners.

But Republicans in a state house committee had a golden opportunity to maintain the mantra of “eight is enough” (8-year term limit) instead went along with a weaker version of a 12-year term limit.

The one elected official pushing for an 8-year limit is Florida State Senator Blaise Ingoglia.

Ingoglia tells WBOB talk radio that county commissioners throughout the state were outraged by his proposal.

One big group, the Florida Association of Counties, opposes this legislation. “We assert that decisions about local representation should be made by voters themselves rather than being imposed by state Legislature,” said Charlotte County Commissioner Bill Truex, president of the association.

The Florida Association of Counties believes the voters should decide if they want term limits on their local county commission.

“Don’t look for that idea anytime soon,” said Nick Tomboulides, Executive Director with U.S. Term Limits. Tomboulides has traveled through the states proposing the idea that local county governments take up the initiative and let local voters decide whether county commissioners should have term limits. Tomboulides says local elected officials kill that idea all the time.

In 2022, state lawmakers passed legislation that put 12-year limits on school board officials, and last year, they knocked it down to eight years.

While most Florida voters support term limits, groups like the Florida Association of Counties bring up valid points about who should have the final authority on county term limits, the local municipalities or the state lawmakers.

If the state is going to move forward on this issue, several conservative groups that support term limits tell Florida Daily that the legislature should go with Senator Ingoglia’s bill, which put stricter limits at eight years, not 12 years.


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