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Election Watch: Proposition 28

Proposition 28 would alter term limits, but opponents say it would let officials sit in office for too long.

In addition to a tight race for the Democratic nomination in California's Assembly District 51, Northeast Los Angeles voters will also be tasked with deciding the futures of Propositions 28—which would alter term limits—and 29, which would increase taxes for fundingn state-supervised cancer research.

Proposition 28

First proposed in early 2011, Proposition 28 would alter the California State Constitution to increase the amount of time elected officials could serve in both the State Assembly and the State Senate, but reduce the overall time they could serve in the State Legislature.

Currently, elected officials are allowed to serve six years in the State Assembly and eight years in the State Senate. Should Proposition 28 pass, elected officials would be able to serve for 12 years in either office. However, the new rules would reduce the total amount of time elected officials could serve from 14 years to 12. Essentially, elected officials would have a total of 12 years to serve in the State Legislature, which they could divide between the two offices in any way they wished.

The terms limits of currently serving elected officials would not be impacted.

What They're Saying

Los Angeles - Capitol Journal

Proposed tweak to term limits makes eminent sense:

"So that's one problem: Legislators spend too much time plotting to occupy their next political perch.

An even bigger problem is that they don't hang around one legislative house long enough to gain the public policy expertise and legislating experience necessary to perform the quality work that complex California desperately demands.

Under Prop. 28, says Allan Zaremberg, president of the California Chamber of Commerce, "we will see [new] committee chairs in the Assembly who have more than 10 months of legislative experience .... who have the ability to learn the process, learn the politics and learn the policy. And that's good."


Fox and Hounds Daily

As Voters Understand that Prop. 28 Guts Term Limits, it’s Support is Dropping:

Despite the claim by proponents that lobbyists are empowered by the status quo, I find that the opposite is actually the case.  Proving my point, almost to a person, every lobbyist to whom I have spoken has said that they are hoping/praying/anxious that Proposition 28 passes.  That’s right, the lobbyists for the special interests want this — right now they all complain that before they can “get to know” (translation: influence) a politician, they are gone and are replaced with a new one.  That’s the point.  At some point the politicians “go native” and start becoming Sacramento’s representatives to the people, instead of the other way around.

Local Impact

While Prop. 28 would have no impact on existing term limits, it is instructive to look at currently elected officials who have operated within the current system.

Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada): He has served a total of six years in the State Legislature. His term ends in the fall, and he's eying a break from politics.

Kevin de León: (D-Los Angeles): He has served a total of six years in the State Legislature. He served in the California Sate Assembly for four years between 2006 and 2010. Since 2010, he's served in the California State Assembly.

Gil Cedillo: (D-Los Angeles): He was served a total of 14 years in office. He served in the State Assembly from 1998 through 2002. In 2002, he moved to the California State Assembly, where he served until 2010. In 2010, he returned to the Assembly.

Patch will have a breakdown of Proposition 29 later Friday.

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