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House of Representatives
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: February 11, 2019 11:06 AM
From: Representative Andrew Lewis and Rep. Mike Jones
To: All House members
Subject: Term Limits Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution
We are deeply honored to be incoming members of this hallowed institution and we are grateful to each of you for your service to our Commonwealth.

In the near future we plan to propose an amendment to the Constitution that would limit the terms of members of the House and Senate as follows: three consecutive full terms for senators and six consecutive full terms for representatives.

Please note: Time in office prior to approval of the amendment by the electorate would not be considered when calculating the limitation on terms. Moreover, a member who reaches the maximum number of terms may seek election to the same chamber after a hiatus of one term.

By essentially limiting service to twelve consecutive years in each chamber, our proposed amendment strikes the right balance between the desire to bring new voices to serve in government and the need to preserve institutional memory that ensures effective operation of the General Assembly. While we are honored to have deep friendships with members in both chambers – many of whom are nearing or have surpassed twelve years of service – and while we are grateful for the ongoing service of those members, we respectfully believe that the time has come for Pennsylvania to begin a thoughtful and phased transition to a term-limited legislature.

Key Benefits and Highlights of the Proposed Term Limits Amendment:
  • Joins 15 other states – including Arizona, Florida and Ohio – in promoting a citizen-legislature where new voices and perspectives are constantly introduced, and where legislators remain “in touch” with the everyday realities faced by those in the private sector.
  • Establishes credibility with the people we represent by empowering them to choose, through the constitutional amendment referendum process, whether or not they prefer to be served by a term limited legislature.
  • Fosters a legislative environment where ideas, work ethic, and leadership merit become keys to success and influence in both chambers.
  • Adopts a reasonable approach that enables the accumulation of legislative expertise by allowing lawmakers to serve twelve consecutive years, with the option to run again after a one-term hiatus.
  • Protects institutional knowledge by implementing a phased, transitional approach to a term-limited Legislature; clock does not start on the twelve year limit until the amendment is enacted, which means current legislators can still serve for an additional twelve years, regardless of previous service.
Please join us in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB815