The Anne Arundel County Council approved a ballot question for the November general election that would extend council term limits by an additional four years.
Voters will now get to choose whether to extend council members’ term limits from two consecutive four-year terms to three after six of the council members voted to put the question on the ballot. Only Andrew Pruski, a Gambrills Democrat, voted against the measure due to some confusion around pension benefits.
The ballot question would need a simple majority to pass and would go into effect a month after the Nov. 8 general election.
Nathan Volke, a Pasadena Republican, said he brought the resolution forward because the Charter Revision Commission suggested the change after reviewing the county’s rules and procedures and comparing them to surrounding jurisdictions such as Montgomery, Prince George’s and Baltimore counties.
Montgomery County has a limit of three four-year terms. Prince George’s has a limit of two four-year terms and Baltimore County has no term limits, according to the commission’s report.
Elsewhere in the meeting, the council passed a resolution on abortion rights in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision last month overturning the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade and ending the constitutional right to abortion. All four council Democrats, Pruski, Sarah Lacey from Jessup, Allison Pickard from Glen Burnie and Lisa Rodvien from Annapolis, voted to approvethe resolution supporting women’s access to reproductive health care.
While the council cannot do anything to change the legality of abortion in the nation, state or countyit was important the council take a stance on the issue, said Rodvien, who sponsored the bill.
Republican council members Jessica Haire, of Edgewater, and Volke voted against the resolution. Amanda Fiedler, an Arnold Republican, abstained.
Haire, who is running for county executive, argued it is the state legislative body’s responsibility to make decisions about abortion rights, not the courts.
“There are Supreme Court justices on both sides of the aisle that agree that Roe was faulty,” Haire said. “I believe Justice [Ruth Bader] Ginsburg has even said that.”
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The resolution also urges Gov. Larry Hogan to release $3.5 million designated by the state for training new abortion care providers.
“I think it’s very important that locally we make a statement to push back and to say that we are going to make sure that a 10-year-old girl that is sexually assaulted can have access to abortion care, that a woman with an ectopic pregnancy doesn’t have to wait until she’s on her deathbed before she can receive abortion care,” Rodvien said.
A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that all three council Republicans voted against a resolution on abortion rights.