By The News Service of Florida
A proposal that would impose eight-year term limits on county school board members is ready for consideration by the full Senate.
The proposal (SJR 1216), sponsored by Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota, cleared the Senate Rules Committee on Monday. The full House last month passed its version of the proposal (HJR 157).
If the Senate goes along, the issue would go to voters in November because it would require changing the state Constitution.
Gruters said Monday that term limits offer “fresh ideas, new leadership and really new energy coming into the process.”
Voters in 1992 passed term limits for state lawmakers. “This is about good public policy,” Gruters said. But critics say local voters should be able to decide whether they want to keep — or reject — school board members, rather than having statewide term limits. “If somebody’s not doing the job, vote them out of office,” said Sen. Bill Montford, a Tallahassee Democrat who is a former superintendent of schools in Leon County.