Term-limited state Sen. Owen Laughlin is about to enter his final year in office, and he believes legislative term limits have been a great thing for Oklahoma.
So Laughlin is naturally disappointed that a senior Democrat Senator, Mary Easley of Tulsa, has introduced a bill for the 2008 legislative session that would repeal term limits for state legislators.
“Term limits were overwhelmingly approved by the people, and they have been a wonderful thing for the Legislature and for the state of Oklahoma. Getting rid of term limits would be a very bad idea,” stated Laughlin, R-Woodward, the Senate’s Republican floor leader.
“Thanks to term limits, the Oklahoma Legislature has attracted new legislators who have experience in the ‘real-world.’ There is a different mindset because the newer legislators have come here to serve for a finite time, and to make a difference. They don’t want to make a career out of being in the Legislature,” Laughlin said.
He noted that the change of leadership at the Legislature is a positive development for the state.
“The Legislature now has a new generation of leaders who are energetic and forward-thinking. We’re considering fresh ideas and dynamic reforms that would not have seen the light of day back when members of the ‘Old Guard’ dominated the Capitol,” Laughlin said.
“I can’t think of a single good reason to repeal term limits,” Laughlin stated. “If anything, we need to look for ways to expand term limits to other offices in our state.”
Democrat Easley’s legislation is Senate Joint Resolution 35.