[Updated Tuesday, Apr 4, 2017, after committee meeting: Rep Warren presented a Proposed Committee Substitute at the hearing, but we’ve been unable to obtain a copy of it yet and it was not yet posted on the bill’s website, as late as 8:30 PM Tuesday.]
Rep Warren introduced the bill by offering a “clean version that extends the members’ terms from two years to four years.” He then said his bill “does not include term limits,” so we’re looking forward to seeing the PCS that he proposed to the committee.
At any rate, Representatives John Blust and Michael Speciale both spoke in opposition to the bill because of the extended terms.
Rep Warren defended his measure, citing the numerous efforts that others have proposed in the past and spoke against the “constant campaigning” members are forced to undertake because of the two-year cycle.
Rep Speciale reminded the committee how members of Congress run every two years in multi-county districts and that State House and Senate districts are smaller and the campaigns are less costly.
Rep Warren’s motion to report the bill favorably out of committee failed by a 13 to 10 vote.
Apr 3, 2017 (Raleigh) — Late this afternoon, the House leadership announced that House Bill 193, a measure deceptively titled, “Legislative Four-Year Terms,” was placed on the agenda of the House Committee on Elections and Ethics Law, but buried in the bill is a provision that limits elected House and Senate members to three terms.
“The sponsors of HB 192 have devised a way to sweep out all House and Senate senior members in short order,” said Jay DeLancy, Director of the Voter Integrity Project. “It will require a statewide referendum, that will attract millions of out-of-state dollars from the same people who fight voter ID. We oppose this in the strongest possible language.”
The primary sponsor for HB 193 is Rep Harry Warren (R-Rowan), who made enemies with immigration activists groups in the 2015-16 session when he sponsored a bill named the “Highway Safety / Citizens Protection Act, that would have granted driver licenses to all illegal immigrants. Senior leadership squashed it in committee.
“Rep Warren’s newest attempt to push the progressive agenda involves another deceptively named bill,” said DeLancy, “only this one would flush out dozens of senior Senators and Representatives who opposed his incremental amnesty efforts last time around.”
According to Adam Schrager & Rob Witwer’s expose, The Blueprint: How the Democrats Won Colorado (and Why Republicans Everywhere Should Care), term limits were a key ingredient in helping Progressives transform Colorado’s State House from veto-proof Republican to veto-proof Democrat in just eight years.
“Politics aside, having supervised federal employees during my military career, I’ve seen the effects of term limits up close and personal,” DeLancy said. “The worst employees could just slow-roll any reform efforts because they knew the uniformed leaders would eventually rotate out of their jobs while the bureaucrats would remain forever.”
The bill’s other primary sponsors are Jon Hardister (R-Guilford), Larry Yarborough (R-Granville), and Jay Adams (R-Catawba). All members of the House Election and Ethics Committee can be accessed here.
“The fact that Rep Hardister is the Majority Whip and the election committee is even hearing this measure, signals a major push by progressives to conquer North Carolina,” said DeLancy. “We hope concerned citizens can light up the phones and tell their lawmakers to vote ‘NO on HB 193.'”
The bill’s long title is “An Act to Amend the North Carolina Constitution to Provide Four-Year Terms for members of the General Assembly,” but it makes no mention of the embedded term-limit language, which says Senators “shall not have served more than three terms in the Senate (Pt I, Section 3), and House members “shall not have served more than three terms in the House of Representatives” (Part I, Sec 4).
“Using this deception, House and Senate Leadership can remove people like George Cleveland, Jerry Tillman and Dan Blue without even holding an election,” said DeLancy, “and it smells like a purge.”
The House Committee on Elections and Ethics Law is scheduled to take up the bill Tuesday at 3 PM in the Legislative Office Building, room 643.