In states with term limits:

1. Legislators want to stay longer, on average

Instead of retiring early, in states with term limits, legislators stay in office for as long as the laws allow. In Arizona, for instance, which currently has term limits, legislative retirements have dropped by over 10 percent since term limits have gone into effect. This means that people stay in office longer than they did before term limits were a factor in their careers.

2. Legislators are more ambitious about running for higher office

In these states, members aim for the next-higher office in order to stay in service — moving from the lower to the upper chamber at an accelerated rate. For instance, in Arizona and Colorado, legislators move from the lower to the upper chamber more quickly than in the comparable states of Wyoming and Texas, which have no term limits.