FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) - On the upcoming ballot, voters in Arkansas will be able to decide whether or not to restructure pay, and term limits, for politicians.
The initiative is called “Issue Three,” is on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.
“I would advise anyone going to the ballots to read issue three and tell me it is not a good bill,” said Jon Woods, Arkansas State Senator.
Woods is hoping voters will approve ‘Issue Three’ on the Nov. 4 ballot.
The issue would create an independent citizens commission to evaluate salaries for public officials. It would also eliminate free meals and gifts to state politicians, and restructure term limits for senators and house representatives.
“If the people of Arkansas vote for ‘Issue Three’, we will still have one of the toughest term limit laws in the country,” Woods said.
As of now, State House Representatives can serve 6 years in office. Senators can serve 8.
Woods says ‘Issue Three’ will allow politicians to serve 16 years in either chamber, rather than forcing them to switch chambers after serving the current limits.
Others, like Bob Porto with Arkansas Term Limits, say putting the term limit issue in a good-government measure is misleading to voters.
“What they are wanting to do is lengthen term limits, and create career politicians,” Porto told 5NEWS.
To emphasize his point, Porto appears at public events with a wooden horse to symbolize deception.
“We are demonstrating the Trojan Horse, called the ethics bill,” Porto said.
The horse is meant to symbolize when the Greeks deceived the Trojans by presenting a wooden horse, which had warriors hidden within the statue.
Porto says the term limits extensions are much like that. He says the politicians have hidden their term extensions “Inside an ethics bill,” Porto said.
Woods says this initiative is favored by both Republicans and Democrats, saying ‘Issue Three’ was created with input from both parties, and is best for The State of Arkansas.
“For this to fail, it would send a bad message to law makers,” Woods said. “Because, it would just show people aren`t necessarily that big on us working together.”
Among the independent citizens commission, the elimination of gifts, and the restructuring of term limits, Woods says this bill would also force legislators to wait two years before they can become a lobbyist.
He also says ‘Issue Three’ would prohibit politicians from receiving donations from corporations.