A constitutional amendment to reform rules about state legislators’ terms in office was approved Tuesday by California voters.
Under the current term limits law, legislators can serve a total of 14 years in office, though loopholes can extend that time to nearly 17 years by filling partial terms. Proposition 28 will limit newly elected legislators to a lifetime maximum of 12 years in office.
The current law allows for a maximum of three two-year terms in the Assembly and two four-year terms in the Senate. Prop. 28 allows a 12-year term in either house, or a combination of both.
Supporters said the measure will make politicians more accountable by discouraging office jumping. It also will eliminate a loophole that allows some legislators to serve up to 17 years if they finish out less than half of the term of another legislator.
Opponents argued the measure was a special-interest and union-funded “scam” that would actually weaken term limits. They said the current law prevents legislators from gaining too much.