One in five state lawmakers nationally next year will be freshmen, according to The Council of State Governments.
The council said the post-election turnover rate for state legislators was 30 percent, up from the typical 20 percent.
From David Adkins, the council’s executive director:
Part of the reason for this high turnover can be attributed to term limits, but perhaps most telling is the fact that this year Republicans contested 800 more legislative seats than they did in 2008. Republican legislative numbers will grow in every region of the country as a result of the 2010 election. It was not a good year to be an incumbent and the strong Democratic gains of 2006 and 2008 were largely reversed by this year’s results. You would have to go back to 1928 to find a year in which more state legislative seats were occupied by Republicans.
The GOP’s good fortunes nationally did not extend to Hawaii. Republicans picked up two seats in the state House — now split 43 to 8 — and lost one in the state Senate — now divided 24 to 1. Hawaii, as the Associated Press has noted, now has the most one-sided Legislature in the country.
There are seven freshmen in the House:
*Rep. George Fontaine (R)
*Rep. Daynette “Dee” Morikawa (D)
*Rep. Mark Hashem (D)
*Rep. Linda Ichiyama (D)
*Rep. Aaron Johanson (R)
*Rep. Ty Cullen (D)
*Rep. Gil Riviere (R)
Due to the House leadership struggle, the new lawmakers have yet to be assigned offices and their staffs are working out of the back of the House clerk’s office on the chamber level.
There are four freshmen in the Senate:
*Sen. Ron Kouchi (D)
*Sen. Glenn Wakai (D)
*Sen. Donovan Dela Cruz (D)
*Sen. Pohai Ryan (D)