Weekend Voices 11/03/07

Guest producer: Marge May Guest host: Ann Luther, League of Women Voters

Topic: Term limits –Including the five key outcomes of research on the effects of term limits around the country and here in Maine:They did not lead to greater gender or ethnic diversity, as proponents hoped,
They did lead to less experienced legislatures, a loss of knowledge among legislators, and a more chaotic legislative process, They led to a loss of power in legislatures relative to the executive branch,
They do seem to have caused legislators to voter their conscience more often, relative to the wished of their constituents, and They do seem to have caused power to shift from the State House of Representatives to the State Senate.

Guests: Richard Powell, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Maine. Professor Powell has conducted research on the effects of term limits in Maine. He co-authored the book, Changing Members: the Maine Legislature in the Era of Term Limits.
Karl T. Kurtz, Director of the Trust for Representative Democracy at the National Conference of State Legislatures. Karl has studied the effects of term limits on state legislatures around the country and co-edited the book, Institutional Change in American Politics: the Case of Term Limits, which takes a comprehensive look at the long-term effects of the 1990s wave of term limits legislation.

More information on this topic is available at the National Conference of State Legislatures www.ncsl.org/programs/legismgt/ABOUT/termlimit.htm and at the League’s web site www.lwvme.org