County Commissioner term limits bill dies as Senate, House diverge

term limits
Hard-line conservatives wouldn't compromise, but the bill will be back next year.

An ambitious legislative proposal that would have led to term limits for County Commissioners is dead for 2024 after the Senate and House couldn’t agree on language, according to sources close to legislative leadership and bill sponsors.

But it appears the legislation will be back next year.

Bills from Republican Sen. Blaise Ingoglia (SB 438) and Republican Rep. Michelle Salzman (HB 57) both sought to create mechanisms to impose term limits on long-serving County Commissioners, but the differences were ultimately too great to resolve.

Behind the scenes, hard-line conservatives were adamant about eight years being enough, which was a condition that wasn’t as sellable in the Senate. While the latest iteration of Ingoglia’s bill included eight years as the benchmark, there was some pressure to make that a 12-year mark.

Upon the bill’s return, sources say the goal again will be to ensure that’s an eight-year limit.

Rep. Michelle Salzman told Florida Politics she was “very frustrated” by the inability to find consensus on the product.

Ingoglia’s bill was advanced in a committee this week after 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 read.

Voters in noncharter counties would have been 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.

Ingoglia’s bill was massaged to address qualms in the Senate, but Salzman’s product was different, saying “a person may not appear on the ballot for reelection to the office of county commissioner if, by the end of his or her current term of office, the person will have served, or but for resignation would have served, in that office for 8 consecutive years.”

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


2 comments

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 29, 2024 at 8:39 am

    Good that this died since the legislature arbitrarily exempts people from such things whenever they feel like it.

    GOP, the party of arbitrary law enforcement, aka “the law is for you, not for me”

  • JJ Watt

    February 29, 2024 at 10:23 am

    Term Limits are SOOOOOOO NEEDED

Comments are closed.


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