Report 401 | May 2018

In a Nutshell

  • Legislative term limits in Michigan have failed to achieve their proponents’ stated goals: Ridding government of career politicians, increasing diversity among elected officials, and making elections more competitive.
  • Term limits have made state legislators, especially House members, view their time as a stepping stone to another office. Term limits have failed to strengthen ties between legislators and their districts or sever cozy relationships with lobbyists. They have weakened the legislature in its relationship with the executive branch.
  • The chief problem rests not with term limits, but with the fact that among the 15 states with term limits, Michigan has the shortest and strictest limits. Lengthening time in office would help, as would improving the redistricting process and reforming the primary election system.

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