Senators seek longer terms in office

Posted: Updated:
Proposed legislation would lengthen state senators terms. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Proposed legislation would lengthen state senators terms. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Senate President Steve Yarbrough, who sponsored the bill, says the bill is in the best interest of the voter. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Senate President Steve Yarbrough, who sponsored the bill, says the bill is in the best interest of the voter. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Sen. Martin Quezada, a Democrat from Phoenix, isn't buying Yarbrough's explanation. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Sen. Martin Quezada, a Democrat from Phoenix, isn't buying Yarbrough's explanation. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3TV/CBS 5) -

Better government or a political power play. That depends on who you ask about SCR 1027.

[RELATED: See the proposed bill, SCR 1027]

The proposed legislation doubles the term of state senators to four years from two years.

Senate President Steve Yarbrough, who sponsored the bill, says he is doing this for the public.

"It would be in the best interest in the State of Arizona if we had senators able to focus more on representing the people and a little less on running for re-election," he said.

Starting in 2022, all 30 senators would be up for election during the mid-term or non-presidential election years.

That appears to benefit Yarbrough's Republican Party.

During mid-terms elections, more Republicans than Democrats tend to participate giving the GOP the upper hand in Arizona.

Currently, statewide offices are held on non-presidential election years. And currently, every statewide office holder is from the GOP.

But Yarbrough says he wasn't thinking about politics when he wrote his only bill of the year.

"We'll that's zero my interest or motivation. My interest is simply trying to see if we can simply to a better job of governing," said Yarbrough.

Sen. Martin Quezada, a Democrat from Phoenix, isn't buying Yarbrough's explanation.

"I think that's a little hard to believe. Whenever you're changing term limits you have to take the partisan nature into effect and this certainly benefits one party over the other," Quezada explained. 

Currently, Republicans hold a 17-13 majority over Democrats in the Senate.

Quezada, who voted against SCR 1027, believes if the bill passes it will ensure GOP control of the Senate for years to come.

"The way that the bill was structured, it would have put all of these senators up for reelection in non-presidential years that sets it up to benefit one party over the other," Quezada said.

The measure has already passed the Senate and cleared a House panel.

If approved, the question would go to the voters next.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Social Connect

  • Contact

    AZ Family

Dennis WlechVeteran political reporter Dennis Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona.

Dennis Welch
Political Editor

Before making the move to television, Welch wrote and edited for the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California. Welch is a well-respected political expert in Arizona and his addition means 3TV will provide a stronger, more robust political presence in Arizona. He joins 3TV from the Arizona Guardian, a highly influential online news site dedicated to Arizona politics and government where he served as owner and editor. During his Guardian days, Welch was a frequent guest on “Politics Unplugged” and has been a regular fixture on the state political landscape since 2005 appearing on numerous radio and television talk shows. “I am thrilled to start working with such a talented and dedicated staff of journalists,” said Welch. “This is a great opportunity to broaden the reach of my political coverage and tell stories that affect Arizona voters and their families.” With more than 13 years of experience under his belt, Welch’s arrival only strengthens 3TV’s commitment to providing first-rate political and government coverage across all platforms. When not covering politics, Welch is an avid runner and fronts a punk rock band that plays frequently throughout the Southwest and California.

Hide bio