Politics, government and public life for Southern California

California term limits revolving door often leads to Los Angeles city council

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Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Assemblyman Jared Huffman, D-San Rafael, left, talks with Assembly member Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, at the Capitol last year.

There's just something about serving on the Los Angeles City Council that termed-out and current state legislators covet. The money's pretty good -- it pays about $80,000 more per year than a state Assembly post. And candidates who win and get reelected can stay 12 years.

So it's perhaps no great surprise that Assembly members Bob Blumenfield, Felipe Fuentes, Mike Davis, Warren Furutani, Gil Cedillo and state Senator Curren Price have all announced they are running for city council seats.

The council is already loaded with former state legislators: Richard Alarcon, Paul Koretz, Paul Krekorian, Tony Cardenas and Herb Wesson. That's one-third of the 15-member council with Sacramento pedigrees.

This candidate boomerang effect is an unintended consequence of the 1990 voter-approved state term limits law. It imposed a lifetime limit of six years in the Assembly and eight years in the Senate. In June, voters tweaked the law when they approved Proposition 28. It gives legislators fewer total years in the statehouse - 12 rather than 14 - but they can spend them all in the Assembly or Senate, or a combination.

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