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House panel rejects term limits for lawmakers

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A House committee today rejected a proposal to limit the terms of New Mexico lawmakers, as well as rules changes that would have weakened the role of the next House speaker.

The House Voters and Elections Committee tabled the proposals on party line votes, with Republicans voting for them and Democrats against them.

The term limits constitutional amendment would have restricted House and Senate members to 12 years of service. Opponents said the constant turnover would give too much power to staff and lobbyists.

The rules changes would have allowed members of committees to elect the committee chairs, and allowed the Democratic and Republican caucuses to appoint their members to committees. The House speaker does all of that now.

The proposals were offered by Roswell Republican Rep. Dennis Kintigh.

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