Get involved in legislative races!

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, Feb. 7, 2014 Share this on FacebookTweet thisEmail this to a friend

If you want to make sure good people are serving in state government, now is the time to make your voice heard and fully engage in state election campaigns. The stakes are higher than ever with the changes in legislative term limits under Proposition 28.

Before Prop 28 the fourteen year term limit had to be split between the assembly and senate. In 2012 voters approved Prop 28 to allow legislators to serve up to twelve years in either the Assembly or the Senate. The new rule applies only to incoming legislators, so members in office prior to June of 2012 are “terming-out” at a rapid rate while new members will serve be able to serve the new longer terms in either house.

There are 80 seats in the state Assembly. With longer terms in a single house, the 39 members elected in 2012 can serve until 2024. This year’s elections will see another 23 members elected that can serve until 2026. In 2016 all but one of the limited term Assembly members will have left, and their replacements will be able to serve until 2028! That’s a complete turnover in just a few election cycles. Then we can expect a period of stability. After 2016 there will be eight years when few seats will be open (not held by an incumbent) and we could see little change in the make-up of the Assembly. 

Changes in the Senate (40 total seats) will occur more evenly over time. Seventeen senate seats will be up for grabs in 2014 and 2016 while another nineteen seats will up in 2018 and 2020. 

Of course, the make-up of the Legislature will also be impacted by resignations and elections that take out incumbents in competitive seats. Nevertheless, it would be wise to actively participate in local elections to ensure that members elected in November this year and 2016 are the best possible candidates to support a healthy business climate. They could be around for a long time.  

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