Iowa voters could decide whether their state representative’s terms should be two or four years long under legislation that has cleared the House State Government committee. Representative Jack Drake, a Republican from Lewis, says current members of the Iowa House serve two-year terms, and face reelection in every even-numbered year. “A lot of constituents have (told) me ‘Gosh, you shouldn’t have to run every two years,'” Drake says.
The proposed amendment to Iowa’s constitution would be placed before Iowa voters in 2008 if the House and Senate can agree. A separate plan under consideration in a Senate committee would lengthen the terms of state senators from four to six years, and place term limits on legislators, forbidding any House or Senate member from serving more than two consecutive terms.
Drake says term limits won’t fly in the House. “I value experience,” Drake says. Drake was first elected to the Iowa House in 1992, so he’s in his 14th year in the legislature. Drake says there’s a huge “learning curve” coming in and rookie legislators gain by having experienced lawmakers around. He says if state lawmakers aren’t doing their job, the voters can and should take care of them by voting them out of office.
If Iowans vote to make the terms of state representatives four years long, 2010 would be the first year Iowans would vote to send their state reps to the statehouse for four rather than two years.