unexpected vacancies, it is anticipated that there will only be six new Senators and no new Assemblymembers after the 2018 election cycle. Tis new class of Legislators ushers in a superma- jority of Democrats which can raise taxes, pass urgency legislation, override gubernatorial vetoes and place ballot measures for voters on the state-wide ballot.

Te election ushered in 31 new

members to the Legislature – 22 in the Assembly and nine in the Senate. Ten of these “new” members have previous experience serving in the State Legislature. Among these “newbies” is the former Speaker of the Assembly turned State Senator, Toni Atkins. Te election of these experienced legislators

Experienced Legislative Leaders Take Charge T

By Felipe Fuentes

he 2017-18 legislative session began with over one quarter of the Legis- lature changing hands. Barring any

marks the recent decline of elected state representatives switching from one house to the other because of term limits. Since 1996, California State

Assemblymembers were term-limited to three two-year terms. State Senators were limited to two four-year terms. In June of 2012, California voters changed term limits for members of the Assembly and Senate to a total of 12 years in either house. Prior to the term limit change, state representa- tives could serve a total of 14 years if they were lucky enough to have served in both houses for the then maximum time. Te duration of the terms in the Assembly and Senate did not change after the 2012 vote, two and four years, respectively. Why is this important? Te intent of the term limit reform

was to eliminate the political shuffle that occurred between the Legis-

lative houses. It was thought that over time legislation and public policy had suffered because of the perpetual campaigning by officeholders. Legis- lators were either running against one another for future seats, running against rivals in the other house or looking for a job out of politics upon their election to their last term. Voters believed that this political

instability harbored a culture where legislative leaders rewarded fundraising rather than institutional knowledge. It was believed that the atmosphere in and around the Capitol was one where bureaucrats and staff held subject matter expertise and there was little incentive for legislators to attempt to tackle California’s long-term challenges. Te thinking was that more time in office would serve as an incentive to state representatives to start and finish their stewardship to our state’s most vexing issues. California has 120 representatives

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representing the Senate and Assembly. Tese Legislators are dynamic and have varied experience – former local officials, non-profit professionals, business people and even some licensed contractors! As an industry, we’ll educate all of them on the impact our industry has on California’s infra- structure, jobs and future. But first, meet (again) some of your

new State legislators: SEN. TONI ATKINS (D), (San

Diego, 39th District) - Elected to the


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State Senate after serving as Speaker of the California State Assembly, Atkins previously worked as director of clinic services at Womancare Health Center and later as a member of the San Diego City Council. Atkins was born in Virginia and earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Emory & Henry College and completed the senior executive program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She represents the cities of San Diego, Coronado, Del

Mar and Solana Beach. SEN. STEVEN BRADFORD (D),

California Constructor

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