The initiative would change the limits from a set number of years in each house to a total number of years in the legislature allowing them to spend up to 12 years in a single house. According to the San Fransisco Chronicle:
The proposal, which supporters want to qualify for a vote during a February 2008 presidential primary, would allow lawmakers to serve six two-year terms in the Assembly or three four-year terms in the Senate, or a combination capped at 12 years of service. Under the current system, lawmakers can serve a total of 14 years, but are limited to three Assembly terms and two Senate terms.(San Fransisco Chronicle - Term-limits initiative proposed Friday, February 16, 2007)
The change may allow elected officials to be more effective since they may be in one place longer and less of their total time in office will be spent learning the ropes. Perhaps also it will, at least partially, bring back the concept of well seasoned legislators to the Capitol.
On the other hand, one might look at who is in office now and imagine who is going to be allowed to remain in office for 6 more years.
The change would allow Núñez to remain in his position of leadership in the Assembly for an additional 6 years rather than being forced to leave the post next year.
Says the Sacramento Bee "Núñez and Perata personally could benefit because incumbent lawmakers could remain in office past their current term-out dates -- until they hit the 12-year maximum." (link)
Term limits were introduced in California primarily because many people thought that seasoned incumbents had too much power. One LA Times editorial claims that "Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez, serving his last term, wants one more, so he is embracing redistricting reform to get it."
The California Report's John Myers says that "...the proposal encourages same-house service, not "seat jumpers.""