Illinois may have a campaign for term limits in the November election. The group Term Limits and Reform, backed by governor candidate Bruce Rauner, is pushing a constitutional amendment to limit state lawmakers to eight years in office, with the clock starting to tick on Jan. 1 of next year.
Philip Blumel, president of the group U.S. Term Limits – which supports the measure but has no position on Rauner – says without term limits, it’s easy for lawmakers to get cozy with special interests, which is why lobbyists will hate it.
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“Their job is to go out and establish relationships, mutually beneficial relationships, with these legislators that can last over time, and that is what term limits upset. They have to go back and recruit new names over and over again,” he said.
Term Limits and Reform is gathering signatures to get the measure on the ballot.
The measure the group is pushing also would re-shape the General Assembly, which now has 59 legislative districts, each with one senator and two representatives, for a total of 118 House members. The proposal would leave us with 41 Senate districts, each with three House districts nested inside, for a House roster of 123. The measure also would raise the threshold for lawmakers to override a veto. U.S. Term Limits has no opinion on those provisions, but Blumel said they did not amount to a “poison pill” that would prevent the group from endorsing the Illinois initiative.