Florida Politics | By Mike Wright | February 23, 2023
‘Serving in the same position in government should not be a decades-long endeavor.’
When the Legislature last year set 12-year term limits on School Board members, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the measure while saying he would have preferred an eight-year cap.
Sen. Blaise Ingoglia this week filed a bill to do just that, adding County Commissioners to the mix.
The legislation (SB 1110) sets term limits at eight years for School Board members and County Commissioners, starting with anyone elected after November 2022.
“Serving in the same position in government should not be a decadeslong endeavor,” Ingoglia said. “Term limits not only ensure better representation, they bring about much needed fresh ideas to tackle public policy challenges.”
Term limits on School Board members have long been discussed. Last year, the House proposed an eight-year term limit but compromised with the Senate on 12 years.
The House and Senate both have eight-year term limits, as does the Governor and members of the Cabinet.
Ingoglia was elected to the Senate last year after eight years in the House.
DeSantis said he was a “huge believer” in term limits and thought 12 years was too long.
County Commissioners currently have no term limits.
Ingoglia said lack of term limits allows politicians to stay in office past their effectiveness.
“The lack of term limits have hindered the ability of communities to develop the next set of leaders,” he said. “It’s time to change course. SB 1110 is necessary and will bring about decisive improvement in accountability in local government.”
If the measure is passed and signed by the Governor, the term limits would apply to anyone elected in November 2022 or later.
Voters in Citrus County, part of Ingoglia’s district, have shown a mixed bag in re-electing incumbents.
Last year, 18-year School Board incumbent Linda Powers lost a re-election campaign to a challenger who had no qualms about her record in office, but said it was time for a change.
The same tactic did not work two years prior when voters overwhelmingly re-elected 20-year School Board incumbent Ginger Bryant over a challenger who said it was time for her to go.