The resolution would place on the November 1998 general election ballot a proposal to amend the Kansas Constitution regarding the state Legislature. Specifically, the constitutional limit on the number of senators would be increased from 40 to 41, House members' terms would be a maximum of four years, Senate members' terms would be a maximum of six years, terms in both houses of the Legislature would be staggered, and term limitations would be imposed in most cases.
Beginning in 2003, House members would be limited to a maximum of three successive terms and Senators to two successive terms. The term limits could be suspended by the filing of a petition signed by a minimum of 20 percent of the qualified voters in a district. Any such petition would have to be filed prior to the candidate filing deadline.
Representative Weber spoke in favor of the resolution at the hearing held by the House Committee on Governmental Organization and Elections. Written testimony was submitted by two individuals in support of term limits, but in opposition to the length of time members could serve under the introduced version of the resolution. One opponent to the concept of term limits presented testimony to the House Committee.
The House Committee on Governmental Organization and Elections amended the resolution to eliminate the term limit provisions, institute the changes beginning in 2002, and to start the rotation of staggered terms anew after each decennial redistricting.
The House Committee of the Whole amended the resolution to provide for term limits and for suspension of those limits by petition.
1. *Supplemental notes are prepared by the Legislative Research Department and do not express legislative intent. The supplemental note and fiscal note for this bill may be accessed on the Internet at http://www.ink.org/public/legislative/fulltext-bill.html.