Term Limits. Another 22 Term Out

In December, twenty-two Assemblymembers will be reaching their “term-out tipping point”. The group includes 17 Democrats and 5 Republicans. This group will bring the total number of California legislators affected by term limits to; 195 termed out of the Assembly and 28 termed out of both houses.

Although the standard definition of “terming out” refers to the date that a legislator leaves office, it might be more accurate to use it to describe the “tipping point” during their final term on which they become ineligible to run again. According to the state constitution, this date is the first day of the second half of their final term in office. Assembly terms (two years long) reach their midpoint in an oddnumbered year while Senate terms (four years) tip during even-numbered years.

 

California Term Limits Statistics (as of 12/5/2011)

Legislators with Term Limits Era Service: 432
Termed out of Assembly: 195
Termed out of Senate: 84
Termed out of both houses: 28

 

The legislators terming out of the Assembly on December 5th are; Jim Beall, Julia Brownley, Charles M. Calderon, Wilmer Amina Carter, Gilbert Cedillo, Paul Cook, Mike Davis, Mike Eng, Mike Feuer, Felipe Fuentes*, Cathleen Galgiani, Martin Garrick, Mary Hayashi, Jared Huffman, Kevin Jeffries, Fiona Ma, Tony Mendoza, Anthony Portantino, Jim Silva, Cameron Smyth, Jose Solorio, and Sandré Swanson.

* NOTE: Fuentes was elected in a Special Election in May 2007. All others on this list were elected in November 2006 and sworn into office in December 2006.

Special Elections Timing in 2013

The 2011 Redistricting has led to a significant number of legislators who will be changing district numbers in the 2012 election. One interesting impact is in the State Senate, where the four year terms are likely to cause a number of vacancies as members jockey for their new districts. Although it’s still early to figure out exactly which legislators will end up running for which districts, one thing that we can figure out is when the special elections will be.

California’s election code says that Special General Elections (run-offs) are to be scheduled for a Tuesday between 112 and 126 days after the Governor calls the election. An extra two weeks of flex time is available because the Governor is given two weeks from the time of a vacancy to call the election.

Because Senators are unlikely to resign from their current Senate seats until after they’ve actually won the election to their new seats, the earliest that vacancies are likely to occur is the day after the 2012 General Election (which would be November 7th). The latest that a Senator is likely to resign their previous Senate seat is December 3rd, which is the first day of the new legislative session (the day they would be sworn into their new office).

If a Senator waits until December 3rd to resign their current Senate seat, and the Governor waits two weeks to call the special election, and then schedules it out as far as he can, the Special General would fall on April 16th and the Special Primary (which is 8 weeks before the General) would fall on March 12th .

If the Senator resigns on the first day after the general election (which would be November 7th), and the Governor called the election the same day, and scheduled it for as soon as possible, the Special General Election would fall on February 27th (and the primary would fall on New Years Day or Christmas). Therefore, the earliest we’re likely to see a Special Elections scheduled are March 5th (with a January 8th Special Primary).

2013 “First Round” Special Election Date Ranges
Vacancy: November 7th to December 3, 2012
Primary: January 8* to March 12, 2013
General (Run-off): March 5 to April 16, 2013

“Follow-up Special Elections” (resulting from Assemblymembers being elected to the Senate in Special Elections in the January to April range above would fall somewhere between March and September

2013 “Follow-up” Special Election Date Ranges
Vacancy: January 9th to April 30, 2013
Primary: March 12 to July 9, 2013
General (Run-off): May 7 to September 3, 2013

 

Record Setting Legislative Turnover

Based on the current numbers, it appears that California may have more new legislators in 2013 than it has seen in nearly a century. There are 120 inumbent state legislators, of whom 29 will be terming out this year;

7 State Senators; Alquist, Calderon, Dutton, Harman, Kehoe, Lowenthal, Simitian

22 Assemblymembers; Beall, Calderon, Cedillo, Cook, Davis, Eng, Feuer, Fuentes, Garrick, Huffman, Jeffries, Mendoza, Brownley, Portantino, Carter, Galgiani, Hayashi, Ma, Silva, Smyth, Solorio, Swanson

Additionally, a large number are running for other offices;

Congress; At least three Senators (Blakeslee, Negrete McLeod, and Vargas) and three Assemblymembers (Hall, Hernandez, and Miller), possibly also Assemblymembers Torres and Valadao. [Source]

State Senate (Block, Fong, Monning, Perez (V.M.), Harkey, Lowenthal, Williams)

Mayor; Senator Yee (San Francisco), Assemblyman Fletcher (San Diego)

Redistricting. Finally, redistricting has impacted several seats, either changing them to favor the other party (Huber, Gorell) or placing multiple incumbents in the same district (Dickinson vs. Pan, Strickland vs. Pavley)

RECORD-SETTING LEGISLATOR TURN-OVER
This brings the total number of new legislators to somewhere in the range of 40 to 50. The election of 43 new legislators would set the record for turnover going back to 1935, while reaching a total of 50 would tie for the most since 1917.