County Commissioner term limits bill could be watered down further in Senate

term limits
Elected before November 2026? You may be in the clear.

Proposed changes to a bill setting up term limits for County Commissioners could delay those restrictions from taking effect.

An amendment to Sen. Blaise Ingoglia’s bill (SB 438) holds that “service of a term of office commenced before November 3, 2026, may not be counted toward the limitation imposed by this section.” That means those service caps would only take effect after the 2026 election, a move that would ensure established local lawmakers aren’t punished for already serving their communities.

This amendment to an amendment already filed seems to be the latest attempt to generate support for the proposal, which would put some checks and balances on people serving longer tenures on these boards.

Committee members will already consider a strike-all amendment along these lines.

“Each noncharter county; each charter county whose charter does not impose term limits on county commissioners as of July 1, 2024; and each charter county whose charter, as of July 1, 2024, imposes term limits longer than 8 consecutive years on county commissioners shall hold a referendum election on November 5, 2024,” the suggested new language reads.

Voters in noncharter counties would be asked if County Commissioners should be prohibited from serving longer than eight consecutive years.

In charter counties with term limits longer than eight years, voters will be asked if they want to reduce the term limit for County Commissioners to eight consecutive years.

The language has a cooling off period that would allow Commissioners to serve again after they’d been out of office for two years. It also grandfathers in those currently elected to County Commissions in 12 years seats. They get to finish out 12 years. Their successor gets eight years if adopted.

The House version of this legislation (HB 57) is already on the Second Reading Calendar, but the continued changes on the Senate side point to difficulties in reconciling the two products should they both make it to the floor.

Rules temporarily postponed consideration of this bill during its last two meetings, suggesting that these amendments are intended to ease concerns in the committee.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Dont Say FLA

    February 26, 2024 at 10:26 am

    Term limit all government offices that are turning blue until such time that the G0P can figure out their suppression strategy for highly localized elections. Combining liberal precincts on non-Presidential years is the usual one. Watch for surprise combined precincts in 2 years!

    • MH/Duuuval

      February 26, 2024 at 4:52 pm

      Dee’s tried-and-true gerrymander gambit in North Florida will not be flipped by the court until 2025.

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