On National Term Limits Day, Assemblymember Wallace Advocates for Term Limits for Legislators, Statewide Elected Officials

In recognition of National Term Limits Day, Assemblymember Monica Wallace (D-Lancaster) is calling for passage of legislation (A1407A) she is sponsoring to enact term limits on members of the New York State Assembly and Senate, as well as statewide elected officials, including the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Comptroller, and Attorney General. Assemblymember Wallace’s legislation would limit Assemblymembers and Senators to 16 years of service and limit statewide elected officials to 12 years of service. Because the change requires an amendment to the New York State Constitution, Assemblymember Wallace’s legislation would need to be passed in two successive legislative sessions and then go before voters as a ballot proposal in the next general election.

Term limits enjoy broad public support, according to numerous polls, and most other states have some form of term limits. A Siena College Research Institute poll in 2022 found 77 percent of New Yorkers support term limits for statewide elected officials, while a Pew Research Center poll found 87 percent of Americans support term limits for members of the United States Congress.

“In our polarized times, it’s rare to find an issue that has as much public support as term limits,” said Assemblymember Wallace. “The vast majority of the public wants to see fresh faces, with new ideas and different perspectives, serving in elected offices. I urge my colleagues to pass my legislation to enact term limits on legislators and statewide elected officials to create a more diverse state government of citizen elected officials.”

National Term Limits Day was recently established by advocates and coincides with the date of the ratification of the 22nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which in 1951 formally limited the President of the United States to two terms of service. Since then, most other states have enacted some form of term limits on elected officials. Sixteen states have term limits for state legislators, while 37 states have some limit on the number of consecutive or lifetime terms served by the Governor. New York lacks any term limits for either legislators or statewide elected officials.

“This election year is the perfect time for our state lawmakers to get serious about election reform,” said Tim Dunn, Executive Director of Unite NY. “That starts with passing Assemblymember Wallace’s bill to institute term limits for statewide officeholders and legislators. New York can’t wait any longer to shake things up and give voters a real choice when they go to the polls.”

Assemblymember Wallace has been a proponent of good government since her election in 2016. She introduced and passed legislation to prohibit public authorities from awarding “golden parachute” severance packages on the public’s dime. She also sponsored legislation, which was passed in the state budget, to create a database of financial incentives given to private companies by the state in economic development programs. In addition, she has advocated for and helped pass budget provisions to reform Western Regional Off-Track Betting, which had flouted laws and operated without transparency or oversight for years.