Louisiana is the only state holding regular elections in 2019 with state lawmakers who are subject to term limits. In total, 47 (33 percent) of 144 state legislators in Louisiana are ineligible to run for office because of term limits. Last year, 271 state legislators were termed out of office. The filing deadline for candidates to run in Louisiana is August 8, 2019. Mississippi, New Jersey, and Virginia are also holding state legislative elections in 2019.
Of the 15 state legislatures with term limits, Louisiana is the only state where term limits were imposed by the state’s lawmakers, rather than through the ballot initiative process. Under Louisiana’s term limits, state lawmakers can serve no more than three four-year terms. The state’s term limits law was enacted in 1995. The first year that term limits impacted the ability of incumbents to run for office was in 2007.
In the Senate, 16 state senators—four Democrats and 12 Republicans—are term-limited in 2019. That is 41 percent of the chamber. In the 2015 elections, seven senators were term-limited. Democrats gained one seat in that election, but Republicans still held a 25-14 majority.
In the House, 31 state representatives—13 Democrats, 17 Republicans, and one independent—are term-limited in 2019. That is 30 percent of the chamber. In the 2015 elections, 15 representatives were term-limited. Republicans gained two seats in the election and held a 61-42 majority with two independent members.
Louisiana is one of 14 states with a divided government. Republicans control the state Senate by a 25 to 14 margin and the state House by a 59 to 36 margin with three independent members and seven vacancies. The governor’s office is held by a Democrat, John Bel Edwards. Louisiana does not have a state government trifecta. A state government trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and both state legislative chambers.