Former Michigan Legislators Overwhelmingly Favor Reforming or Abolishing Term Limits

October 2022
Rusty Hills, Delaney Walsh, Thomas Ivacko

To learn more about the views of former state legislators—many of whom were term-limited out of office—a survey was conducted in 2020 and 2021. This policy brief highlights key findings about the former legislators’ lessons from serving in Lansing and their views on term limits.

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Key findings

From a 2020-21 survey of former Michigan state legislators regarding lessons learned from their time in office, and their views on the state’s legislative term limits:

  • Former Michigan legislators who have left office or have been term-limited out overwhelmingly favor reforming (67%) or even abolishing (27%) the state’s legislative term limits. This is true regardless of their party identification or gender, with overwhelming support among both male and female Republican and Democratic former legislators.
  • The most common approach suggested for reform is to extend the allowable time in office, with 12 years as the most common target mentioned. Adding flexibility to serve that time in either house, in any combination, is another common reform suggestion.
  • Most of the former legislators felt they had accomplished at least some of their goals during their term-limited time in office, but most would opt to serve again, if given the opportunity.