Quittin' Time In Colorado
There's an employer in Colorado that is having serious problems retaining its workers: the state legislature. Five legislators have left office this year alone, including...
There's an employer in Colorado that is having serious problems retaining its workers: the state legislature.
Five legislators have left office this year alone, including the Senate president, Peter Groff, who departed for a job in the Obama administration. Some 20 of the legislature's 100 members first took their seats when their predecessors left before their terms were up.
What's so terrible about the Colorado legislature that is causing everyone to decamp? Well, nothing really. But the state does have two election rules that create strong incentives for politicians to leave early.
The first is that Colorado is one of 24 states that does not hold a special election when a legislative seat opens up. Instead, a local party committee picks a replacement. That allows legislators to leave without costing their party a seat.
The other is term limits. Colorado legislators are allowed only eight consecutive years in either chamber. Since the lawmakers know the date they will lose their jobs, they start looking for new employment early.
If term limits are causing legislators to cycle through the statehouse faster than the rules mandate, does that mean citizen legislators are running the show, as term limits supporters hoped?
Not really. Party committees tend to appoint political insiders, and they tend to go on to win reelection. "If term limits were designed to get your uninitiated next-door neighbor down there," says John Straayer, a Colorado State University political scientist, "that has not happened."
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
LATEST POLITICS HEADLINES
Why There Will Be Fewer Feds Monitoring the Polls This Year2 hours ago
Obama Makes Unprecedented Endorsements Down the Ballot1 hour ago
Trump's Message Clashes With GOP's Most Endangered Governor33 minutes ago
28,000 Register to Vote After Virginia Deadline Extended Because of Website Problems23 minutes ago
West Virginia Candidate for Governor Owes Millions in Back Taxes13 minutes ago
Are Voter ID Laws Dead? That Depends.8 hours ago