By Geoff Pender, Clarion Ledger, April 20, 2015
McDaniel, who is running for his third term in the state Senate, says the proposal is to limit state lawmakers and statewide officeholders to two consecutive terms in the same office.
McDaniel said incumbency “has built a wall between people and their representatives.”
“This has caused an increase in cronyism, back room deals, and corruption,” McDaniel said. “We believe regularly changing out officeholders is a step toward transcending those problems.”
United Conservatives Fund spokesman Keith Plunkett said the group would have to collect about 110,000 signatures from registered Mississippi voters. He said the group has filed paperwork with the Secretary of State and expects to start collecting signatures within about 30 days.
McDaniel said the goal is not to block anyone from public service.
“Our goal is to increase participation and make elective office more accessible to people who want to serve,” McDaniel said.
Mississippi law allows for an “indirect” ballot petition initiative, according to the Secretary of State. Once a group has gathered enough signatures, the Legislature has an opportunity to hold hearings and propose alternatives to the citizen initiative — as it did with the current school funding initiative on this year’s general ballot. The Legislature cannot veto a citizen initiative, but can pass an alternative to appear on the ballot with the original initiative.
Term limit measures filed in the Legislature in recent years have not progressed very far, usually dying in committee without a vote.