You may have seen recent news about a group in Arkansas working to repeal the term limits extension measure voters passed last November.
In a nutshell, the proposal would limit lawmakers to no more than three two-year terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives and two four-year terms in the Arkansas Senate, with no lawmaker permitted to serve more than ten years total.
We wrote about the new term limits amendment last November, after it was passed into law. To summarize, under the new term limits system, lawmakers may serve up to 16 years in the Arkansas General Assembly (House and Senate).
If the lawmaker’s sixteenth year in office happens to fall in the middle of his or her term, the lawmaker is allowed to finish the term; this means many lawmakers may actually serve up to 18 years in office.
Additionally, the new term limits system includes special exemptions for time in office as the result of a special election or an assignment resulting from redistricting. It’s a little complicated, but suffice it to say because of these exemptions, a state legislator could serve as many as 20 – 22 years in office under the right circumstances.
To be fair, most lawmakers will probably only serve 16 years in the legislature; but many will serve 18 years, and a few will get 20 – 22 years in office.