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Increase Gubernatorial Term Limits, Virginia Dems Say

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Delegates at the state capital say that one-term limits for governors allows them to skirt long-term decision making.
Jen Goellnitz:
Delegates at the state capital say that one-term limits for governors allows them to skirt long-term decision making.

Democrats in Virginia's House of Delegates say it's time to amend the state constitution and allow governors to run for re-election. All other states permit their governors to seek consecutive terms, and House Democrats say Virginia should join them.

"What we need to do is to stretch the horizon for the governor so that he isn’t a lame-duck the minute he takes his hand off the Bible, so that he can make greater plans that stretch beyond merely the four-year horizon that we have now," says Arlington Delegate Bob Brink. He says the one-term limit hinders a governor’s effectiveness.

Henrico Delegate Joe Morrissey said that without a longer view, the can gets kicked down the road on some policy decisions, such as transportation: "They’re got to improve our transportation system. We have exhausted the borrowing capacity to improve roads right now. And the reason we did that is because a governor who is only there for four years said, ‘What do I have to do to just get by?’”

Democrats said provisions to preserve the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches will also be needed. Those might include requiring that lawmakers appoint a number of seats on the State Board of Education or other boards and commissions.

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