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Kentucky Lawmaker Wants To Increase Term Length for House Members

A lawmaker from western Kentucky wants to double the length of time state representatives serve in office. Such a move would require a change to the state’s constitution. 

Rep. Richard Heath wants to increase the length of legislative terms for Kentucky House members from two to four years. He also thinks the state’s elections should be staggered so that only 50 members of the House are up for election at a time, instead of all 100. 


Heath serves Graves and McCracken counties and plans to introduce a bill including those changes during the 2020 General Assembly. The Republican from Mayfield says the way the state currently elects its House members is confusing to many voters.

“Nearly all our other elected officials serve four-year terms," Heath said.  


If the bill passes through both the House and the Senate, it would have to go on the 2020 ballot. 


Kentucky voters would then decide whether to pass a constitutional amendment extending term lengths for state representatives. 


When asked, Heath said he doesn’t have a response to the argument that shorter terms can increase a voter’s ability to hold Representatives accountable.


Lawmakers elected to the U.S. House of Representatives also serve two-year terms. 

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