Massachusetts Senate leaders making push to abolish term limits on chamber’s president

Geoff Foster talks about the importance of term limits in ensuring stable transitions of power.

Originally published in the Boston Globe on February 7, 2023. Read more here.

A top deputy to Massachusetts Senate President Karen E. Spilka is pushing a proposal to abolish limits on the chamber’s leader, a move that could end a decades-long cap on power on Beacon Hill and extend Spilka’s reign indefinitely.

State Senator Michael Rodrigues, the chamber’s budget chief, filed an amendment to the Senate’s proposed rules package seeking to eliminate a provision that says no senator in the 40-member body can hold the president’s office “for more than 8 consecutive years.”

Good government advocates quickly opposed the measure, saying term limits have helped strengthen the democratic process.

“Without term limits, you run the risk of having leaders who must either be politically disposed, forced out under ethical clouds, or rarely, they might just lose interest and leave voluntarily. None of those scenarios are healthy,” said Geoff Foster, executive director of Common Cause Massachusetts. “Term limits are really important to ensure stable transitions of power.”