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I just took a call from a constituent who teaches part time for various community colleges – a “freeway flyer” who spends more time in his car, and money in gas, than teaching.

We are working on legislation to improve the teaching conditions for adjunct (part time) community college faculty. This process started when we met nearly three years ago, when I was first running for office.

As he and I discussed ideas, we realized that this could take years to accomplish – and that I may well term out before the job is done. So the conversation turned to who can we work with to pick up when I am not around.

Consider this: Next year I will be serving with 36 new Assemblymembers out of 80 total. Many have served in previous levels of elected office (including a few moving over to the Assembly from the Senate), but imagine if you showed up at your job one day, and nearly 50 percent of your colleagues were replaced in one year.

How would that affect your workplace? How effective would your business be with this high turnover?

And how much time would need to be invested in training people in doing their jobs, so they could best carry out the responsibilities they were elected to perform?

Whenever someone says “term limits keep people from acquiring too much power/influence that can lead to corruption,” I reply – it also cuts into the Legislature’s knowledge and experience, and puts the power/influence into the hands of NON-elected people.

I’m referring to the lobbyists and state employees who have no term limits, and work year after year on agendas that may or may not represent the interests of those who vote. It does make people wonder: who has the real power in Sacramento – the elected officials, or the people who will be there long after we are gone?

I can think of no other job that has a mandatory “retirement” after such a short term of service. Can you?

LORI SALDAÑA

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