Resolutions from the Hawaii Legislature don’t have the force of law, but they can express the views of some lawmakers and sometimes even get a little attention.

Such is the case with House Resolution 97, which urges the U.S. Congress to call a convention of the states to propose term limits for federal officials — including Congress itself.

A group called US Term Limits, which describes itself as focused on implementing term limits at all levels of government, praised HR 97 in a recent press release.

Rep Sam Kong. 3 feb 2017
Rep. Sam Kong. Cory Lum/Civil Beat/2017

“The people of Hawaii are lucky to have public servants who see what is going on in Washington, D.C. and are willing to take action to fix it,” said the group’s president Philip Blumel. “Through Article V of the U.S. Constitution legislators can restore balance between states and the federal government as our Founders intended.”

Citing a Scott Rasmussen poll, Blumel said that there is nationwide popularity for term limits from both Republicans and Democrats.

HR 97 and a companion concurrent resolution, both from state Rep. Sam Kong, a Democrat, state that “the concentration of power at the federal level has made federal officials less responsive to the will of the people and more readily influenced by lobbyists, wealthy corporations, and special interests in Washington, D.C.”

The resolution adds, “much of federal law is now enacted by federal bureaucrats who were never chosen by the people and have no accountability to the people whatsoever.”

As of Wednesday neither resolution had been scheduled for a hearing at the Capitol.

There are no term limits for state legislators, by the way, and the four members in Congress representing Hawaii previously served in the Legislature.

As for changing congressional term limits, it would require ratification from 38 states to become part of the U.S. Constitution.

Quality journalism takes time.

A story that takes fives minutes to read often takes days to report.
 
Quality journalism takes time and resources to produce, but with support from readers like you, Civil Beat can investigate issues and publish stories that are otherwise difficult to fund.
 
Become a donor and help support Civil Beat’s next investigation.

About the Author