I’ve never really hidden my disdain for the term limits we have in California. It only serves to gather power in unelected staff and lobbyists. Six years just isn’t enough, and the merry-go-round of elections just doesn’t really help anybody.
So, a few months ago, the LA Chamber of Commerce and the LA Labor Fed got together to file an initiative that would basically do what Prop 93 a few years ago would have done. That is change the term limits to allow 12 years in either house, rather than 6 in one, and 8 in another. It seems now, that is more likely to get on the ballot after a big check arrived in the bank account:
The developer of a proposed NFL stadium in Los Angeles County has donated $300,000 to change the state’s term limits law. Seed money for the political committee, Californians for a Fresh Start, has come from three major donors within the past two weeks. The Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce has donated $10,000, the L.A . County Federation of Labor has donated $100,000 and Majestic Realty, the developer, has given $300,000.
Proponents of the measure are hoping to place it on the November 2010 ballot.(CapWeekly)
Well, politics isn’t pretty is it? You have a big stadium deal pushed through verrrrry late in the legislative session. And oh, look at that, a term limits measure appears out of nowhere. Wow!
But, whatever the motivation for term limits reform, it’s a good idea. I’m not sure it would be my top priority, that would be reserved for eliminating supermajority requirements, but good policy nonetheless.
UPDATE by Robert: As I understand it, the difference between this and Prop 93 is that currently serving legislators would be exempted, whereas under Prop 93, they would have been included. That helps this proposal be seen less as incumbent protection and as the sensible reform it actually is.