After twists and turns, County Commissioner term limit bill bound for Senate floor

ingoglia
More changes ahead? The sponsor says 'what's in here today may not be the final product on the floor.'

GOP Sen. Blaise Ingoglia’s persistence has finally paid off to try, as the Senate Rules Committee on its third try approved a measure that could add term limits for County Commissioners.

The Spring Hill Republican’s bill (SB 438) was advanced, with a series of temporary postponements in previous weeks, and a number of tweaks, including a delete-all amendment.

“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 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, and that moratorium would include keeping someone from moving to and from single districts to at large districts to sidestep the rule. It also grandfathers in those currently elected to County Commissions.

Meanwhile, an amendment to the amendment stipulates that “service of a term of office commenced before November 3, 2026, may not be counted toward the limitation imposed by this section.”

The new language was an intent to make the bill’s intent crystal clear, Ingoglia told Florida Politics.

“I asked for the first postponement to work on an amendment. We didn’t have enough time to finish it. The amendments are just over-clarifying the intent. Some opponents of the bill claimed it wasn’t doing what was intended. Staff, me and the lawyers disagreed. So in an abundance of caution and clarity we proposed the amendments.”

More than one County Commissioner complained that the bill would have a disproportionate impact on smaller counties, but to no avail.

Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book said she was up on the bill at this stop, even though she didn’t “love it,” because the sponsor worked to improve it and was receptive to dialogue about it.

The House version of this legislation (HB 57) is already on the Second Reading Calendar.

But changes could come still, with Ingoglia saying “what’s in here today may not be the final product on the floor,” noting the need to reconcile with the House product still.

A.G. Gancarski

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


One comment

  • Michael K

    February 27, 2024 at 7:47 pm

    And the point is? The problem solved is? The people benefit because?

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704