State Legislative Term Limits

Summary

Whether they cap lifetime service or consecutive terms, term limits have become popular in many states, though some have overturned them as unconstitutional. Proponents believe term limits increase voter participation, encourage more women and minorities to run for office, and help bring diversity and fresh ideas to the legislature. Opponents point to research showing that diversity has not increased in term-limit states, and that younger and less experienced legislators tend to rely more on lobbyists for information about proposed bills. Finally, voters disappointed at losing their favorites may fail to go to the polls.