Arkansas Ethics Ballot Measure Offers Tradeoff - State and Federal Communications

October 13, 2014  •  

Arkansas Ethics Ballot Measure Offers Tradeoff

Flag of ArkansasA proposed constitutional amendment on the November 4, 2014, ballot will determine whether voters are willing to extend term limits for state lawmakers in exchange for strict ethics laws for lobbyists and corporations. Issue 3 will ban corporate and union gifts to political campaigns, ban lobbyist gifts to legislative and executive officials, and extend term limits for legislators to at least 16 years.

Under the current state constitution, lawmakers typically serve no more than six years in the House and eight years in the Senate. The ballot measure would allow lawmakers to serve 16 years in the same office, or even longer for senators winning special two-year terms after each decennial census and redistricting process.

Adding term limits to the bill helped the ethics package pass the Legislature, but has decreased the popularity of the ballot measure in pre-election polls.

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