ND lawmakers introduce resolution to change term limits measure passed by voters

Term limits graphic
Term limits graphic(KOLO)
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 5:56 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakota has term limits for state lawmakers and governors. The issue was settled on Election Day... or was it?

The state’s lawmakers can’t serve more than two terms in each chamber. And some of them are upset about that. So, they introduced a resolution that would change the measure passed by voters in November.

HCR 3019 would increase the cap on the number of years someone could serve in a single chamber from eight years to 12 years. And here’s the important part: they’d be allowed to serve in that chamber again, as long as they waited at least four years before running for that office again.

Supporters of this resolution say the term limits measure passed in November conflicts with longstanding language in other areas of the state Constitution.

“The question is, ‘Does this one measure that was passed by the people, does it have the ability and the authority to overrule the rest of the Constitution of North Dakota?’ I say it does not,” said Representative Jim Kasper, R-Fargo.

Representative Jim Kasper also says he believes people thought they were instituting term limits on members of the U.S. Congress — not the North Dakota State Legislature.

Those opposed to this resolution — and in favor of term limits — note the measure passed by North Dakotans in November explicitly says, “...the legislative assembly shall not have authority to propose an amendment to this constitution to alter or repeal the term limitations established in section 1 of this article.”

The committee hasn’t acted on the resolution yet. Representative Kasper also introduced a resolution that would allow the Legislature to meet every year, rather than every other year, if they so choose. That bill passed out of committee by a vote of 8-6.