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Government and Politics

Will Ohio voters be asked to change Ohio term limits?
House Speaker Bill Batchelder says the law on legislative terms should be revisited

Andy Chow
House Speaker Batchelder is one of the lawmakers who says Ohio's eight-year term limits are too short.
Courtesy of State of Ohio
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The speaker of the Ohio House – who’s leaving this year because of term limits -- says a new poll on the topic may lead to a new vote on such limits.

LISTEN: Term limit changes

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House Speaker Bill Batchelder says he’d like to see the voters of Ohio take on the issue of term limits as early as this year. Term limits require a legislator to leave a chamber after eight consecutive years.

Batchelder was forced out of the Legislature when the term limits law passed in the '90s, and he returned in 2007. He’s leaving at the end of this year because he is, once again, term limited in the House.

A new poll from the University of Akron shows a majority of voters would accept extending term limits to 12 years. That's encouraging to Batchelder. But he says lawmakers must approach the situation with caution.

“I’d love to see it on the ballot in November. I don’t know what the governor would like and haven’t talked to him about it. Obviously we could put it on in August that’s a much lighter turnout. I think that might be harmful; for one thing, anybody who’s in favor of term limits would say, ‘Well look at that: They don’t even want to have it with a heavy turnout decide it.’”

In order to put the issue on the ballot, the General Assembly would have to pass a resolution. That would most likely mean reconvening during summer recess. Batchelder says he’ll have to talk to more leaders about the issue first.


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