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Report chronicles downside of term limits

August 17, 2006View for printing

Statehouses under term limits are growing less diverse, less powerful and less civil, according to a new study by three non-partisan organizations that support state lawmakers nationally. "Term limits in states have done more to limit rather than enhance the effectiveness of the legislative branch," Karl Kurtz, director of state services at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and a leader researcher in the study, said during an Aug. 15 press conference at NCSL's annual meeting here. The Council of State Governments and the State Legislative Leaders Foundation also contributed to the study, as did nearly a dozen political scientists from across the country. "Instead of leveling the playing field between the legislative and executive branches, term limits have weakened the legislative branch in relation to executive power," Kurtz said. This power shift is most apparent in the budget-making process, he said.

By Eric Kelderman and Pamela M. Prah, Staff Writers

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