Lawmaker Seeks Attorney General’s Opinion on Term Limit Changes

LITTLE ROCK, AR – “I’ve had at least 10 really good, top-notch lawyers tell me the 16-year clock starts anew for everybody,” said Arkansas Chamber of Commerce President Randy Zook.

Zook made the remark during a Clinton School panel earlier this month. That comment has led State Senator Jon Woods, (R) – Springdale, to seek an Attorney General’s opinion on Amendment 94, which was passed by Arkansas voters this year.

“If you have the State Chamber president saying that, it needs to be addressed,” Woods said. “I really don’t think the law is unclear. But I would rather ask for an Attorney General’s opinion now rather than a year or two from now.

Ballot Issue 3, as it was known during the election, included ehtics reforms like banning lobbyist gifts to legislators, but it also extended term limits. It allows for lawmakers to serve 16 years in the house or senate, with no specific limitations on break down in either house.

“The law is exactly as it reads — time past 1992 will count against you, but it definitely doesn’t start clock new again,” Woods said. “That’s my belief and that was the intent.”

Woods said he hopes the Attorney General’s opinion will put the issue to rest and ensure Arkansans that lawmakers aren’t attempting to sneak a Trojan horse past the people.

“That’s not the way the bill was written and that’s not the intent,” Woods said.

To read Woods’ full opinion request click here.

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