Term Limits Convention focus of 2016 Florida activism
YOU DID IT
The Florida Legislature has passed legislation making it the first in the nation to call for an Article V amendment convention exclusive to the subject of putting term limits on Congress.
The memorial, HM 417, passed the State House and State Senate by a unanimous voice vote. It is part of a national movement led by U.S. Term Limits to fight careerism in Washington. Article V gives state legislators a way to make term limits on Congress a reality without needing congressional approval. For the convention to be called, 34 states must pass similar legislation. If the convention proposes an amendment, 38 states must ratify it for it to be added to the U.S. Constitution.
The President of U.S. Term Limits, Philip Blumel said “Seventy-five percent of Americans support term limits on Congress, including huge majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents. This is a rare, truly bipartisan issue with national support.” This bill was supported by both Democrats and Republicans in the State House and Senate throughout the process and passed unanimously through two committees.
This effort in the Florida Legislature was led by Florida Rep. Larry Metz, R-Groveland and State Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Jacksonville.
“Rep. Larry Metz and State Sen. Aaron Bean have been an integral part of the process in Florida and in making Florida the first state in the nation to call for term limits,” Blumel added. “There are now 11 states hot on Florida’s heels, and the progress here has laid the groundwork for their success.”
Since 34 states must call for the Term Limits Convention to make it happen, U.S. Term Limits has spread its grassroots resources throughout the country. In addition to Florida, the group is also targeting Alabama, Alaska, Georgia, Colorado, South Dakota, South Carolina, West Virginia, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Tennessee and Utah.
The Term Limits Convention will not impact the Florida Legislature, as they already have term limits which were voted on by the people in 1992 with 77 percent of the vote. That vote on Amendment 9 also enacted eight-year term limits on federal and state officials but, in 1995, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states could not enact congressional term limits by ballot measure. Thus congressional term limits need to be enacted by amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
JANUARY 2016 UPDATE: The Term Limits Convention bills HM 417 and SM 630 have cleared all four of their committees in the Florida Legislature and are now headed for a floor vote. Use this form to contact your legislators and tell them to support the bill!
A massive national campaign to limit the terms of the U.S. Congress has been launched and Florida is one of the first target states!
It is now clear that the best and fastest way to impose term limits on Congress is through a term limits convention as authorized by Article V of the U.S. Constitution. If two-thirds (34) of the states call for a convention of states for the purpose of proposing an amendment on a specific subject, the amendment convention ‘shall’ be called. The amendment it produces would go back to the states — not the Congress — for ratification.
Will Florida be the first state to make the call for The Term Limits Convention?
The answer can be YES, with your help.
LET’S GET STARTED!
- If you haven’t already, sign the Congressional term limits petition here.
- Ask your Florida State Senator and State Representative to support House Memorial 417, filed by Rep. Larry Metz, and Senate Memorial 630, filed by State Sen. Aaron Bean. These are the Term Limits Convention bills!
- Make a financial contribution to the effort here. This will be a costly battle!
- Get educated. Here’s the best primer we’ve found: Amending the Constitution by Convention: Practical Guidance for Citizens and Policymakers (Independence Institute, 2012)
- Follow the progress on the Florida Term Limits page of Facebook.
- Print and distribute the Term Limits Convention palm flyer at events and social gatherings.
- Ask the Executive Committee of your county party to pass a resolution in support of the Term Limits Convention. Here’s an example from the Palm Beach County Republican REC, which passed in October 2015: Read the Resolution
For more information on the effort, or to reserve a speaker for your political (any party) or civic event, email Florida State Coordinator Nick Tomboulides at NTomboulides@termlimits.org.