WAVE 3 News Editorial - March 11, 2014: One Term Limit - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

WAVE 3 News Editorial - March 11, 2014: One Term Limit

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By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 Vice President & General Manager

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Kentucky's legislative session continues to limp along with little substantive action taking place.

It seems to be common place in an election year to avoid controversy, which essentially means avoiding leadership.

In the Commonwealth the average smoker makes under $25,000 a year and spends $2,000 of those dollars on cigarettes. The health costs of smoking skyrocket for our health care system, yet the legislature looks the other way at a secondhand smoke ban.

Revenue challenges abound, but voters are denied an opportunity to even consider expanded gambling as an option to raise money, while neighboring states gladly take our money and use it to address funding needs of their own.   

Kentucky has a higher unemployment rate than 43 states, and is among the top five poorest states in the country. One of every four children don't know where they will get their next meal, but meaningful movement to change these numbers has not occurred for decades.

Addressing tough issues takes political courage and it is clear that with a two year election cycle for representatives and four year for senators, most state legislators are more concerned about their next election.

Why not take that burden away, and limit everyone to one term, for four years. Release the re-election focus on the legislator and aim it towards the people of the Commonwealth. It would be liberating and change the legislative process dramatically. Voters would need to be more engaged as well in the election process, to make sure they elect people they expect will represent their best interest on the front end.

It will take an amendment to the Constitution to make this happen and that is no easy task. But it is one worth considering to stop the continuing legislative paralysis, and self preservation focus, created by the current system.           

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