Time is running out to get legislative term limits on the November ballot. The 1st District Court of Appeals sided with a lower court’s ruling that the referendum is unconstitutional. Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for governor and chairman of the committee behind the ballot initiative, says if the referendum isn’t put to voters on Election Day, the blame should fall on Democrats.
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“(Governor) Pat Quinn and (Illinois House Speaker) Mike Madigan are fighting against good government reform, against the interest of the people of Illinois,” Rauner said. “The people deserve a voice.” Rauner’s committee has filed an emergency appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court. A decision would be needed quickly, as the State Board of Elections is set to certify the ballot Friday.
Rauner claims unlike the failed push for the term limits in 1994, which was led by Gov. Pat Quinn, this referendum meets the requirements that citizen initiatives seek to change the structure and procedure of the legislature. But both court opinions state the term limits provision itself makes the amendment invalid. If the referendum is left off the ballot, Rauner says he’ll focus on enacting term limits through the legislature.