A bill to limit Oklahoma county office holders to 16 years in office died in the House Rules Committee on Wednesday after failing to draw support from a single member.
However, another bill that would limit county office holders to 12 years in office was passed out of the House Committee on Government Modernization on Monday and is awaiting action by the full House.
State Rep. Dennis Johnson, R-Duncan, could not draw any support for House Bill 2695 despite assuring Rules Committee members that he would be willing to consider extending his proposed 16-year term limit to 20 years if that would be more acceptable to committee members.
State Sen. Harold Wright, R-Weatherford, spoke against term limits for county officers, saying that in sparsely populated counties it is hard enough to find people willing to serve as county elected officials even without term limits.
House Bill 2457, which remains under consideration, would limit county officers to serving 12 years. Current county officers would be allowed to serve up to 12 additional years after the expiration of their current term under that bill, which is authored by state Rep. Mike Turner, R-Edmond.