Proposition 93: Term limits for State Assembly and Senate |

Proposition 93: Term limits for State Assembly and Senate

While local representatives for the Truckee-Tahoe area say they are in favor of term limits in general, they’re against Proposition 93.

“I’m in opposition to Prop 93, I feel it changes the original will of the people from when term limits were instituted originally,” said California Assemblyman Ted Gaines, who represents the Tahoe area.

The proposition would reduce the total time a person can spend in the state legislature from 14 to 12 years, and serve a total of 12 years in the Assembly, the Senate, or a combination of both.

As it stands now, legislators can serve a total of 14 years: Three two-year terms in the Assembly and two four-year terms in the Senate.

“Currently I can serve six [years] in the Assembly and eight in the Senate. If this passes, I could serve four [years] in the Senate, or stay in the Assembly for 10 years,” Gaines said. “People would probably stay in their positions.”

The proposition, say its detractors, would keep current politicians in their powerful positions ” notably Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and Senate President pro Tem Don Perata, Gaines said.

“The benefits to the current leaders cloud the debate,” said Evan Oneto, press secretary for Assemblyman Rick Keene, who represents Truckee as part of his district.

A spokesperson for Senator Dave Cox said he opposed the proposition, rounding out the three state representatives for the Truckee-Tahoe area.

Proponents who wrote in favor of Proposition 93 in the voter guide include Betty Jo Toccoli, president of the California Small business Association, Richard Riordan, former California Education Secretary, and Susan Smartt, executive director for the California League of Conservation Voters.

They wrote that 93 “strikes a reasonable balance between the need to elect new people with fresh ideas, and the need for experienced legislators with the knowledge and expertise to solve the complex problems facing our state.”

Locally, Nevada County Supervisor Ted Owens said there are parts of the proposition he likes, and parts he doesn’t like.

“It’s written to keep the speaker and the president in their power positions for many years to come,” Owens said. “On the other hand, mixing it up, letting the individual determine if they want to serve full time in the Assembly or Senate, or part in each, I think would be healthy. Right now it’s musical chairs.”

Despite his mixed feelings on it, Owens said he is against Proposition 93.

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