Term limits poll show strong support

A poll commissioned by US Term Limits, a national group promoting term limits, found that Californians remain deeply attached to term limits. No big surprise here.

An Aug. 3 poll conducted by Pulse Opinion Research found that 69 percent of those questioned would be less likley to support a politician who tries to weaken term limits. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Interestingly, the poll also found that 67 percent supported cut-backs on the perks that state politicans earn.

California has had term limits since 1990, when voters enthusiastically endorsed the concept in a ballot initiative.

Recently, some lawmakers have proposed tinkering with term limits as part of redistricting reform. The idea is to allow politicians to serve a total of 12 years in the state Legislature in one or both of its bodies, the Senate and the Assembly.

Today, lawmakers may serve no more than three terms in the Assembly and two terms in the Senate, a condition that has produced an annual rotation of politicians jockeying for position to run for the next seat when they are termed out.

But respondents in the poll overwhelmingly opposed it — 63 percent said no while 27 percent supported the idea.

In other poll findings:

40 percent believe lawmakers’ annual salary of $110,800 is too high while half say it’s about right

33 percent oppose cutting lawmakers’ wages by 20 percent, while 52 percent favor it.

66 percent oppose the per diem lawmakers receive in addition to their salaries, roughly $30,000 a year, and the same number of folks would vote to eliminate it.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen