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Adapting to Term Limits: Recent Experiences and New Directions

Bruce E. Cain, Thad Kousser | November 2004


Term limits have changed Sacramento, but exactly how have they affected the Legislature, and what can the institution do to respond? In Adapting to Term Limits: Recent Experiences and New Directions, Bruce E. Cain and Thad Kousser measure the effects of term limits and identify ways to adapt to them. Guided by the testimony of informed observers, their report offers quantitative analyses using bill contents and histories, voting behavior, budget figures, and other archival records to explore the effects of term limits. Concluding that term limits have eroded legislative capacities in unhelpful ways, they offer recommendations for restoring some of those capacities while maintaining the legislative turnover mandated by Proposition 140.

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