Policy Today

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California/Term Limits
Lead Story
Friday, 27 October 2006
Ushered out by term limits, many state legislators feel like they're leaving at the worst possible time: just when they have become good at their job.

Imagine for a moment that you've just taken a new job. You're not entirely familiar with the position, but you're idealistic, energetic and intelligent. You're still getting to know the names of your colleagues when one of them reminds you that no matter how hard you work, nor how well you perform your duties, you'll be laid off in six years. No exceptions.

So goes life for an incoming legislator in states across the nation with legislative term limits. The idea was to foster a return to the "citizen legislator" ideal, wherein a diverse range of social interest...

Friday, 27 October 2006

"NOBODY REALLY CARES ABOUT THE PAST."

California Assemblyman Joe Canciamilla talks to PT about the worldview of a termed-out legislator. Is the final year full of sentimental goodbyes and freedom from political maneuvering? You might be surprised.

PT: After six years in the California Legislature, term limits are bringing your Assembly career to a close. How is that final term different?

Canciamilla: Well, everything moves very fast, and your last term arrives very quickly. Almost from the beginning of your first term, people begin to ask about your future plans, and that begins to pick up as you move through your time in the Legislature. In your last term it becomes even more of a focal point.

Two things happen. Fir...

Feature Story
Friday, 27 October 2006

"I WANT TO DO MORE..."

California Assemblyman Jerome Horton has represented the state's 51st district for nearly six years, but his time is up. PT sat down with him recently to find out what his job is like as the clock runs out.

PT: You're about to leave the Assembly due to term limits, along with 19 of your colleagues. What can you tell us about your final term in the Legislature?

Horton: During any legislative term, you learn things that make you want to change the law. For example, in the last few months, my interaction with the youth authority and the prison system has made me want to act in those areas. I understand, however, that my authority to make changes isn't the same as before. On the flip...

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