Term Limits in CA
In 1990, despite being outspent over 30-1, Proposition 140 was passed by California voters. Among other things, this measure imposed term limits on statewide officeholders and members of the state legislature. For all of the statewide officeholders and members of the Board of Equalization, a limit of two four-year terms was adopted. Members of the State Senate were limited to two four-year terms, and Members of the State Assembly were limited to three two-year terms. After these limits were reached, there was a lifetime ban on service.
Unfortunately, in June of 2012, a ballot measure, Proposition 28, was passed which did weaken California’s legislature term limits, changing the limits to up to 12 years of service in either legislature chamber. The measure was a complete scam perpetrated by the political class. Placed on the ballot through crony capitalism (the funding for the signature petition drive came largely from public employee unions and some businesses which got favorite treatment from the legislature), the former Attorney General (now Governor) Jerry Brown put a completely misleading title and summary on the measure, that made it sound as if the measure actually strengthened term limits. The Citizens In Charge Foundation actually proved this to be the case. Because the system was rigged, the voters were fooled into voting for Prop. 28.
California Term Limits has as a high priority addressing the complete conflict of interest in having an elected, partisan Attorney General determining ballot titles and summaries. And of course we plan, at some point in the future, to participate in an effort to bring stronger term limits back to the California legislature.
Term Limits For Local Elected Officials Around California
Currently the better part of a hundred counties and cities in California have had term limits imposed by the voters. At some point in the future we hope to put a complete list of those up here on the California Term Limits website. Some of these include the largest counties and cities in the state. It is the position of CA Term Limits that local elected officials should be limits to a maximum of two four-year terms in a single office, with then a permanent lifetime ban. Some local governments have these limits — most have other variations. One of our missions here at California Term Limits to to help work with local citizen activists to place term limits measures on the ballot in their area, and we also believe in educating the public about politicians who, in violation of the spirit of term limits, turn service in local office into a career.