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Fogarty Wants Term Limits For State Legislators

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Fogarty wants term limits for state legislators

01:19 PM EDT on Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Journal Staff Writer

PROVIDENCE -- Lt. Gov. Charles J. Fogarty is proposing term limits for state legislators that would match the eight-year limit of service enforced on the state's general officers, such as his own job and the one he's running for: governor.

"Tragically, Rhode Island faces continuous problems because of individuals who put their interests before the public's interests and because of the incestuous entanglement of government and business," Fogarty said yesterday in a speech at the Old State House on Benefit Street. "We must stop special interests from overpowering the public's interests and stop insiders from playing the system for their own benefit.

"I am proposing a major reform that will take enormous steps toward dissipating the cloud of corruption that hangs over our state and creating a more responsive government for Rhode Islanders."

Fogarty said that if elected governor, he would propose a constitutional amendment imposing a limit of 4 consecutive 2-year terms for House and state Senate members. The limit would "rejuvenate" the State House by ensuring a flow of new people, he said. He claimed term limits would reduce the influence of special-interest groups, and "eliminate the temptation and ability to establish backroom networks which can lead to putting personal agendas ahead of the public good."

Fogarty, a Democrat, is challenging incumbent Republican Governor Carcieri in the fall election.

Carcieri's spokesman, Jeff Neal, said when contacted last night that the governor "fully supports" term limits for state lawmakers.

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