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Florida Senate Wants Term Limits on County Commissioners

{UPDATE} Florida Senate Wants Term Limits On County Commissioners

{UPDATE) January 19, 2024

A House panel Friday approved a proposal that would impose 12-year term limits on county commissioners in most of the state, after changing an earlier version of the bill that would have led to eight-year limits.

The House Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee unanimously supported the revised bill (HB 57), filed by Rep. Michelle Salzman, R-Pensacola.

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The bill drew opposition from county officials. Eleven counties that operate under charters already have eight- or 12-year term limits for commissioners, but most — including all rural counties — do not. Salzman said the bill would be “fostering fresh perspectives in local government.”

Proposed Senate Bill 438, by Florida Senator Blaise Ingoglia (R), want term limits imposed of Florida County Commissioners. Effectively, this bill will discourage county commissioners from seeking reelection after 8 years, while not being able to return to office, in the same county again for another 2 years for the same or different district.

This bill if passed will stop county commissioners from making a career of sitting in the same seat. Commissioners will have to choose to move up, or step out.

A Break Down of the SB-438:

  • A county commissioner may not appear on the ballot for reelection to the same office if, by the end of their current term, they would have served in that capacity for 8 consecutive years.

  • After completing an initial 8-year term, the commissioner is prohibited from qualifying for or appearing on the ballot for a different district seat or at-large county commission seat until at least 2 years have passed since the end of their initial term.

  • For counties without term limits specified in a county charter as of July 1, 2024, any service in a term of office that began before November 8, 2022, cannot be counted toward the 8-year limitation outlined in this section.

It's important to note that this provision does not override any more restrictive term limits established by a county charter. The effective date of this act is set for July 1, 2024.

Which Counties in Florida are Charter Counties?

  • Broward
  • Charlotte
  • Clay
  • Columbia

Be In The Know.

What is a Charter?

Charter: the broad governing document for municipal governments (cities, towns, villages and charter counties); adopted by the people and amended by the people through referendum. It is derived from the French word for “contract.” Every city in FL has a charter; only a few of the counties have charters.

How SB-438 currently reads:

SB 438: Term Limits

GENERAL BILL by Ingoglia

Term Limits; Establishing term limits for county commissioners; prohibiting specified persons from seeking certain offices until after a specified timeframe, etc.

Effective Date: 7/1/2024
Last Action: 1/16/2024 Senate - Now in Community Affairs
Be In The Know!
What is Committee on Community Affairs?
Meets to discuss issues of interest and hear presentations from elected officials and partners.

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