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House committee looking at changes to the 'term limits' measure voters approved in 2022

Fargo Republican Representative Jim Kasper wants to change that – so that legislators and every elected executive branch office holder would serve 12 years.

A House committee is looking at a proposed state Constitutional amendment, that would change the term limit measure voters passed in November.

The initiated measure limits Legislators to two four year terms in each House, and also limits the Governor to two terms as well.

"Right now, we have upwards of 35 freshmen in the House and Senate, and we have a member in the House chamber who's 18 years old," Kasper told the House Industry, Business and Labor Committee. "Under the current statute, that young man would be age 26 and would be term-limited, for the rest of his life, in the House. To me, that's unconscionable."

The leader of the term limit initiative – Jared Hendrix of Minot – told the Committee Kasper’s proposal does not meet Constitutional muster. He said he understands that the Legislature can propose changes to an initiated measure, if it gets a two-thirds vote in the House and Senate, and is then taken to the voters. But he said for term limits, that’s not allowed.

"The new Article 15 of the Constitution, section four, states that the Legislative Assembly shall not have the authority to propose an amendment to alter or repeal the term limits established in Section One of this article," Hendrix said. "So the authority to propose an amendment remains with the people."

Earlier in his testimony, Kasper said he would welcome a legal challenge being brought to the North Dakota Supreme Court.

The Committee did not take action, The measure is HCR 3019.

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