AN INITIATIVE PROPOSING AN AMENDMENT TO THE MISSISSIPPI CONSTITUTION OF 1890 TO LIMIT THE TERMS OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS
BE IT INACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI; Add Section 252A to the Mississippi Constitution of 1890, to read as follows:
Preamble: The people of Mississippi find and declare that elected officials who remain in the same office without an intervening term of years become entrenched in public office and tend to become less concerned with their duties as representatives of the people. This entrenched incumbency has led to voter apathy and a closed electoral system. Neither voters nor candidates presently have the benefit of a fee, competitive electoral system which is the heart of our Constitutional government. Therefore, the people of Mississippi, exercising their reserved powers, herein restrict the number of consecutive terms of elected officials.
Section 252A. (1) NO PERSON ELECTED OR APPOINTED TO ANY PUBLIC OFFICE OF THIS STATE, OR ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THEREOF, SHALL BE ELIGIBLE TO SERVE IN THAT OFFICE MORE THAN TWO TERMS IN SUCCESSION. AT LEAST FIFTY PERCENT OF ONE TERM TO WHICH ANOTHER PERSON WAS ELECTED SHALL COUNT AS ONE TERM. THIS SECTION SHALL TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 1, 2011.
(2) THE NAME OF ANY REPRESENTATIVE FROM THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI TO THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS SHALL NOT BE PLACED ON THE BALLOT FOR RE-ELECTION AT THE PRIMARY, GENERAL, OR SPECIAL ELECTION IF, BY THE END OF HIS/HER CURRENT OF OFFICE, THAT PERSON WILL HAVE SERVED (OR, BUT FOR RESIGNATION, WOULD HAVE SERVED0 IN THAT OFFICE FOR TWO CONSECUTIVE TERMS. AT LEAST ONE YEAR OF A TERM TO WHICH ANOTHER PERSON WAS ELECTED SHALL COUNT AS ONE TERM.
NOTHING IN THIS SUBSECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS PREVENTING OR PROHIBITING THE NAME OF ANY QUALIFIED VOTER OF THIS STATE FROM CASTING A BALLOT FOR ANY FDERAL LEGISLATIVE CANDIDATE BY WRITING THE NAME OF THAT PERSON ON THE BALLOT AS ALLOWED BY APPLICABLE LAW, OR FROM HAVING SUCH A BALLOT COUNTED OR TABULATED, NOR SHALL ANY PROVISION OF THIS ARTICLE BE CONSTRUED AS PREVENTING OR PROHIBITING ANY PERSON FROM STANDING OR CAMPAIGNING FOR ANY ELECTED OFFICE MY BEAMS OF A "WRITE-IN" CAMPAIGN.
THIS SUBSECTION SHALL TAKE EFFECT JANUARY 1, 2011, AND IS APPLICABLE THEREAFTER TO ALL PERSONS WHOSE NAMES ARE SUBMITTED TO THE PROPER AUTHORITIES FOR PLACEMENT ON THE BALLOT FOR ALL PRIMARY, GENERAL, OR SPECIAL ELECTIONS FOR ALL FEDERAL LEGISLATIVE OFFICES. SERVICE PRIOR TO JANUARY 1, 2011 SHALL NOT BE COUNTED FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ACT.
THE LEGISLATURE MAY BY LAW DELAY THE EFFECT OF THIS SUBSECTION UNTIL TWENTY-ONE (21)STATES, NOT INCLUDING THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, HAVE ACTED SO AS TO LIMIT THE TERMS OF THEIR CONGRESSMEN IN BOTH HOUSES OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS.
(3) THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION ARE HEREBY DECLARED TO BE SERVABLE AND IF ANY SHOULD BE HELD INVALID, THE REMAINDER SHALL STAND.
(4) NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL BE CONSTRUED AS PREVENTING ANY PERSON FROM SERVING IN A PREVIOUSLY HELD PUBLIC OFFICE, OR AS PREVENTING ANY AUTHORITY FROM PLACING ON THE BALLOT THE NAME OF ANY CANDIDATE FOR A PUBLIC OFFICE IN WHICH THE CANDIDATE HAS PREVIOUSLY SERVED, IF AT LEAST A PERIOD OF FOUR YEARS HAS PASSED.
THIS PROPOSAL DOES NOT REQUIRE ANY REVENUE TO IMPLEMENT. THE PROPOSAL DOES NOT REQUIRE A REDUCTION IN ANY SOURCE OF REVENUE AND IT DOES NOT REQUIRE A REALLOCATION OF FUNDING FROM CURRENTLY FUNDED PROGRAMS.