Do you see this passing the House?

The constitutional amendment that would create four year terms for State Senators has cleared one hurdle (no surprise here), now it’ll head to the State House:

Georgia senators would serve four-year terms under a constitutional amendment approved overwhelmingly by the Senate on Thursday.

Sen. John Douglas, R-Covington, the resolution’s chief sponsor, said Georgia would join 38 other states with four-year terms in their senates if the House goes along with the proposal, and if voters then approve it at the polls.

Douglas said the current two-year terms are becoming increasingly taxing as Senate districts grow in population. He said each senator will represent at least 180,000 constituents following the next census, up from the current 150,000.

“Two-year terms may have been practical some years ago, but I think they have outlived their usefulness,” Douglas told his colleagues before Thursday’s 49-6 vote.

The resolution calls for staggered terms for senators, meaning just half of the 56 Senate seats would be up for grabs in each even-numbered year. Currently, all senators run at the same time.

Douglas said staggered terms would lend more continuity to the Senate.


  1. Icarus says:

    Do I see this passing the house? Depends on if Richardson needs something late in the session from the Senate.

    Now, has anyone figured out how the staggered terms will work for a redistricting year? A couple of Senators I’ve talked to haven’t…

  2. eehrhart says:

    Sign of the apocolypse….I agree with Decaturguy!

    Two year terms are sufficient for House AND Senate members. We need to face the voters every two years it keeps us accountable for our actions.

  3. Skeptical says:

    “He said each senator will represent at least 180,000 constituents following the next census, up from the current 150,000.”

    Poor Johnny. Dude, if you can’t do the job, perhaps it’s time to retire.

  4. Nicki says:

    I’m fine with 4-year appointments. Accountability is one thing, but shorter terms force politicians into a neverending cycle of interrupting their actual work (legislating) for their electoral work (fundraising, promise-making, etc.)

  5. Josh D Ondich says:

    Yes. I see this passing the House. The house has their own bill very similar to Senator John Douglas’s Bill. It would hypocritical if the house rejected the senate terms bill, then demand the Senate to their term bill for the house. I hope it passes and Governor Purdue. I think the bill is a great idea because if each state senate election is every 4 years, then the more competitive the elections will be. Currently Most state senate races every 2 years are unopposed. this bill will give the parties more time to build funding and recruit candidates for state senate elections.
    I like the idea for the State Senate. I would support the same idea for The House also.

  6. StevePerkins says:

    Sorry, Ondich, but I fail to see how 4 year terms would make races “more competitive” than 2 year terms. Maybe if the challenger had 4 years to gather resources while the incumbent only had two. However, they each have the same amount of time, so how is “competitiveness” affected by 2-year, 4-year, or 20-year terms?

    The real negative to this bill is term staggering. “Promoting continuity” is code-speak for “making it extremely hard for the Democrats to ever retake control of the chamber again.” The entire bill is just a bare naked power-grab for those currently in the Senate to entrench themselves more deeply and be less accountable to voters.

  7. Tommy_a2b says:

    My sources tell me that the bulk of the membership in the house will support 4 yr terms for senators because they want the 4 yr term also. I believe a HB allready exists but I am not sure.

    BTW- I got “I’m Fed-Up-&-I’m-Not-Going-To-Take-It-Anymore!” Virus back in 1999.

  8. Decaturguy says:

    Umm…. you people should realize that if Earl Ehrhart says something isn’t going to pass the House, then its chances of even getting a vote in the House are slim to none.

  9. Jason Pye says:

    As much as it pains me to say it, Decaturguy actually has a point.

    Ehrhart is the chair of the Rules in the House. It’s safe to say the ball is in his court.

  10. Yes, the ball may be in Rep. Ehrhart’s court, unless…

    …the Speaker of the House makes it known that he supports the legislation to extend the terms of Georgia State Senators to four years.

    Now if the Speaker says he’s for the bill, then what is Rep. Ehrhart going to do…look Glenn Richardson in the eye and tell him no.

    Shoot, Tom Bordeaux was (key word there is “was”) the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee until he ran afoul of then-Speaker Terry Coleman and had his committee chairmanship stripped from him.

    I’m just saying.

    So anyone want to take a gander at what Glenn Richardson might be thinking about this particular piece of legislation?

    Because if the Speaker supports it, then the bill is priced to move.

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