Elections. Term Limit Declarations for|
Congressional Candidates. Initiative Statute.
The Congress of the United States consists of the Senate and the House of Representatives. California's delegation to Congress consists of two senators and 52 representatives. Senators are elected for a term of six years and representatives are elected for a term of two years. The United States Constitution sets the general qualifications and duties of Members of Congress.
Federal law does not limit the number of terms a person may be elected to serve as a senator or representative in Congress. In 1992, California voters adopted Proposition 164, which established term limits for California's senators and representatives in Congress. However, Proposition 164 is not likely to go into effect. This is because the United States Supreme Court ruled, in a case involving similar limits established by other states, that the qualifications of office for federal elective officials may be changed only by an amendment to the United States Constitution.
Under current state law, the California Secretary of State processes information from candidates who wish to run for office, including declarations of their candidacy. County elections officials are responsible for preparing the content of the ballots for all candidates running for office.
This measure allows all candidates for the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives from California to sign a declaration saying that, if elected, they either will or will not voluntarily limit their years of service. Candidates who agree to term limits would indicate that they will voluntarily serve no more than two terms in the Senate (or 12 years) or three terms in the House of Representatives (or 6 years).
In addition, a candidate can ask the Secretary of State to place on election ballots a statement that the candidate either did or did not sign such a declaration to voluntarily limit his or her terms of service.
The measure does not require a candidate to sign any declaration, nor does it require him or her to ask the Secretary of State to provide information regarding the declarations on the ballot.
This measure would result in additional election costs to the state and counties. The amount of the additional cost is unknown, but probably not significant.
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