Chambers of Commerce Across State Oppose Term Limits Measure
The Greater North Dakota Chamber (GNDC), in coalition with Chambers across the state, today release a statement opposing Measure 1, the Term Limits Measure, which will appear on the ballot in November. Specific to state legislators and the governor, this proposed constitutional change would limit the length of service for these elected officials.
Our organizations representing businesses across the state are concerned about the consequences should it pass. Due to mandated turnover, additional time and money will be used to train on procedures and issues. This would impact progress and productivity at the cost of the taxpayers. Additionally, voids in experience and education would create a reliance upon unelected bureaucrats and lobbyists to provide subject expertise and further influence.
“We are coming forward with a unified voice. Policy isn’t made in a vacuum – it’s responsive and intuitive. We need leaders who are thoughtful and can dig in where appropriate to represent the needs of their constituents, while not feeling the pressure of a countdown clock,” stated GNDC President and CEO Arik Spencer. “We also expect that voters will exercise their own term limits – elections. If candidates need to be replaced, do it with a vote, not a mandate. Change for the sake of change isn’t sound policy.”
Our citizen legislature relies on individuals to step into leadership roles. Many races this year are running uncontested. Imposing additional restrictions on candidates may further exhaust this pool. Our organizations are concerned that a trickle down would be felt beyond the state level into municipal sectors, governments, and boards. Qualified candidates may be sourced from other boards or positions creating holes in communities and stretching resources even finer.
Spencer continued, “We know that turnover happens in elections – in the past 10 years, 71% of the legislators have left, or have been voted out. The governor’s administration also has changed hands. We want to ensure that those leading our state into the future aren’t facing a revolving door, this doesn’t instill confidence or prompt progress."
Chambers of Commerce that urge a “no vote” on Measure 1 include: