There’s more to the proposed term limits amendment than just term limits. Besides limiting lawmakers to eight years of service in the General Assembly, it would also reduce the number of senators from 59 to 41, and add five state representatives to the House. Another change would be increasing the number of votes needed to override the governor’s veto from a three-fifths majority to two-thirds.
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Chris Mooney, director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, says amendments to the state constitution have to somehow change multiple aspects of the General Assembly. “It could be just to deal with these structural and procedural requirements,” Mooney said.
Bob Costello, a member of the board of directors for U.S. Term Limits, says that wasn’t the sole motivation for including these measures. “We wanted to go to three House (seats) per Senate district, we wanted to have some cost savings involved, and we wanted to make our legal argument strong,” Costello said.
The amendment would also abolish two-year Senate terms, making the terms of all state senators four years beginning in 2023.