Michigan residents still want term limits on state legislators. Yet they might be willing to tweak a restriction that often shoves elected officials out the door too quickly.
A poll released last week from the Michigan State University Institute for Public Policy and Research concludes that 75 percent of those surveyed want term limits.
Today, those limits force people out of the state House after six years and out of the Senate after eight years.
The poll found that a majority would allow lawmakers to return to office after a four-year hiatus, or to spend their entire 14 years in either the House or the Senate.
“There’s a general feeling for some term limits, but people are not wedded to these particularly restrictive term limits,” survey director Charles Ballard told Gongwer News Service.
Polls say only so much. Term limits can change only at the ballot box.
Still, the sentiment could be significant.
No one can be happy with the quality of our state lawmakers these days, and a leading cause is these too-restrictive limits.
Lawmakers ought to have a chance to learn the ropes and invest themselves in improving state government without a ticking clock counting down the minutes until they must leave.
And if they are not doing their job, don’t let term limits do the people’s work: Vote them out.
These results offer an opportunity. Term limits might be here to stay, but maybe they can be rewritten.
— THE JACKSON CITIZEN PATRIOT