|Title and Summary||Analysis||Arguments and Rebuttals||Text of Proposed Law|
|LIMITS ON LEGISLATORS' TERMS IN OFFICE.
INITIATIVE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT.
|ARGUMENT IN FAVOR OF
Proposition 93 reforms California’s 17-year-old term limits law to make the Legislature more effective. This thoughtful proposition strikes a reasonable balance between the need to elect new people with fresh ideas, and the need for experienced legislators with the knowledge and expertise to solve the complex problems facing our state.
California’s current term limits law allows legislators to serve a total of 14 years: 3 two-year terms in the State Assembly and 2 four-year terms in the State Senate.
Proposition 93 reforms the law in two important ways:
These simple but important adjustments will let legislators spend more time working for taxpayers, and less time worrying about which office to run for next.
An independent study by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found that term limits have produced important benefits, but “have been accompanied by unintended consequences [that] diminish the Legislature’s capacity to perform its basic duties.”
The study found term limits increased the potential for “fiscal irresponsibility” in the Legislature, while providing “less incentive, experience, and leadership to correct it.” Rapid turnover in the Legislature has also reduced “expertise in many important policy areas.”
Other independent studies have reached similar conclusions. You can read these studies at
The PPIC study recommends specific changes to our current term limits law to “improve the Legislature’s ability to perform its role.” These changes form the basis for the reforms in Proposition 93.
There is a real need to reform term limits:
Proposition 93 isn't a magic cure for these problems. But it is an important and balanced step in the right direction. It will make our Legislature more effective, more accountable, and better able to solve problems you care about.
Allowing legislators to serve 12 years in either the State Assembly or State Senate will let them gain experience and expertise—essential for dealing with complicated public policy issues with long-term consequences. Committees will be led by experienced lawmakers who can better oversee state bureaucrats. And more legislators will focus on California’s long-term needs, instead of their own short-term careers.
By serving 12 years in one house, fewer politicians will be plotting their next political move as soon as they get elected—meaning fewer fundraisers, less “musical chairs” and more on-time budgets.
Proposition 93 will improve the Legislature’s ability to solve problems. Read the PPIC study at www.ppic.org.
Proposition 93 balances the benefits of term limits with the need for more lawmaking experience. Vote "yes" on Proposition 93.
BETTY JO TOCCOLI, President
Former California Education Secretary
SUSAN SMARTT, Executive Director
California League of Conservation Voters
A NO vote on Proposition 93 is a vote FOR term limits. Career politicians and powerful special interests who fund them refuse to respect the will of the people. They’re at it again with Proposition 93.
The only ones who want to “reform” term limits are the politicians and special interests who have their power curtailed by term limits. But don’t be fooled—Proposition 93 is no reform.
Proposition 93 is not reform when it has a special loophole that benefits 42 incumbent politicians who are termed out by giving them more time in office. Some politicians will even be able to serve up to 20 years in office—just like before we passed term limits.
Proposition 93 is not reform when it lengthens terms for politicians. It doubles Assembly terms from 6 years to 12 years and makes Senate terms 50% longer—increasing them from 8 years to 12 years.
Proposition 93 is not reform when it dramatically increases terms for more than 80% of state legislators.
Proposition 93 is not reform when powerful special interests with business before the Legislature are spending millions of dollars to pass it.
Proposition 93 is an arrogant and self-serving power grab by career politicians. Save California’s term limits—vote NO on Proposition 93.
MARTHA MONTELONGO, Vice-President
JON COUPAL, President
Proposition 93 is a scam that would actually lengthen politicians’ terms in office. It is intentionally deceptive because it claims to toughen term limits when it would in fact cripple term limits.
Proposition 93 is designed to trick voters and sabotage voter-approved term limits. It’s written by career politicians and funded by millions of dollars from special interests with business before the Legislature.
Look at the facts and decide for yourself:
Proposition 93 has a special loophole that benefits 42 incumbent politicians who are termed out by giving them more time in office. Some politicians will even be able to serve up to 20 years in office—just like before we passed term limits.
The initiative lengthens terms for politicians. It doubles Assembly terms from 6 years to 12 years and makes Senate terms 50% longer—increasing them from 8 years to 12 years.
Proposition 93 will dramatically increase terms for more than 80% of state legislators. Politicians will have more time to develop cozy relationships with lobbyists.
That’s why Proposition 93 is funded by millions of dollars from major special interests with business before the Legislature, including developers, energy companies, gambling interests, large insurance companies, and trial lawyers.
In order to uphold the will of the voters and save California’s term limits, vote NO on Proposition 93.
Time and again, Californians have voted for reasonable term limits to break the stranglehold that power-hungry career politicians had on our state legislature. The current voter-approved term limits require politicians to give up power and level the playing field so voters have more choices in elections.
That is why politicians and their special interest cronies don't like term limits. And that's why they are trying to fool us into supporting Proposition 93.
This initiative is written by leaders of the state legislature trying to hang on to their power and perks. They know, if it doesn't pass, they will be termed out of office next year.
California's leading taxpayer groups oppose Proposition 93. They say it's just another attempt by politicians to deceive the public and evade term limits.
Newspapers also criticize the initiative, calling it a "phony reform." One newspaper said it "has a loophole for those already in office." Another reported the initiative "would add to the political longevity of California's state lawmakers." A third declared it "looks like legislators are trying to take care of themselves."
California's current term limits law opened up the system and enabled new people with new ideas to seek office. But Proposition 93 sets back the clock and limits opportunities for more women and minorities to be elected to the Legislature.
If Proposition 93 passes, career politicians and special interests win. California's voters lose.
Proposition 93 is a scam to subvert the will of the voters. Don't let politicians and special interests get away with tricking us. Don't be fooled by this sneaky effort to sabotage term limits. VOTE NO on PROPOSITION 93.
LEWIS K. UHLER, President
JULIE VANDERMOST, President
TIMOTHY J. ESCOBAR,Vice-President
Look carefully at who’s attacking Proposition 93.
An East Coast group called U.S. Term Limits is the key opponent of Proposition 93. Here’s what you should know about them:
On October 2, 2007, a top official of U.S. Term Limits was indicted for conspiracy to commit campaign fraud.
Last year, Oregon newspapers exposed U.S. Term Limits for using out-of-state money to promote a phony reform initiative, which voters rejected. (The Oregonian, “N.Y. cash colors Oregon ballot,” August 5, 2006.)
Now these same people have come to California to wage a campaign against Proposition 93.
They say Proposition 93 “lengthens terms for politicians.” In fact, it REDUCES the time legislators can serve from 14 to 12 years. To be consistent with the Constitution, existing lawmakers may serve a TOTAL of 12 years in the house they’re in . . . NOT 12 years more. We can’t afford to lose the experience already gained by existing lawmakers; it’s desperately needed to help solve California’s problems.
They say Proposition 93 shuts the door on women and minorities. That’s not true. Proposition 93 lets legislators spend more time working for taxpayers and less time campaigning for their next office.
Don’t be fooled. Proposition 93 improves California’s term limits law by striking a reasonable balance between the need for new ideas and the urgent need for experienced legislators to solve the complex problems facing our state. Vote YES.
LIANE M. RANDOLPH, Former Chairman
Arguments printed on this page are the opinions of the authors and have not been checked for accuracy by any official agency.
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