11 December 2003
A matter of timing
Oklahoma's term-limits law, enacted as State Question 632 in 1990, allows a legislator a maximum of twelve years, whether in the state House, the state Senate, or both. The law specified that legislators serving as of January 1991 would be allowed to complete their current term before their 12-year clock would be started.
Which means that individuals who were serving in the subsequent legislature 1993-94 are now about to be squeezed out, and the first squeezee looks like Senator Angela Z. Monson, Oklahoma City Democrat, who began her career in the Senate in 1993 but who previously served one term in the House. (Disclosure: I used to live in Monson's district, and voted for her twice. Not in the same election.) The law says that Monson's clock starts with the beginning of her Senate service, which means that although she was elected to a full four-year term in 2002, she will have to leave the Senate in 2005.
One other Senator may face a similar situation: Jim Maddox, a Lawton Democrat, who was in the House when his clock started in 1993 but moved to the Senate for the 1995 session. The difference, so far, is that the Attorney General has been asked to rule on Monson, not on Maddox.