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Panel Rejects Consecutive Terms for Governor

February 13, 2013

By Shelby Mertens
Capital News Service

RICHMOND – A House subcommittee has rejected the Senate’s proposed constitutional amendment that would allow Virginia governors to serve two consecutive terms starting in 2017.

Virginia is the only state that does not allow governors to serve consecutive terms. Fourteen states have no gubernatorial term limits; 27 have a two-consecutive-term limit; and four limit governors to two consecutive or nonconsecutive terms.

Sen. Thomas Garrett, R-Lynchburg, introduced Senate Joint Resolution 276. The amendment passed in the Senate with a 25-15 vote on Jan. 28.

SJ 276 had bipartisan support in the Senate: 16 Democrats and nine Republicans voted for it, while 11 Republicans and four Democrats opposed it.

When the Senate resolution “crossed over” to the House, it ran into trouble.

The proposed amendment was assigned to the House Committee on Privileges and Elections. On Monday, that panel’s Constitutional Amendments Subcommittee recommended tabling the bill, killing it for this session.

Two identical House proposals met a similar fate in the same subcommittee. The subcommittee merged House Joint Resolutions 549 into HJ 679 but never acted on the final measure. So it died at “crossover” on Feb. 5, the deadline for legislation to clear the House or Senate.