Both opponents and supporters of term limits are making false claims, according to an expert from the University of Illinois. Chris Mooney, director of the U. of I. Institute of Government and Public Affairs, says some of the benefits touted by pro-term limits groups haven’t come to fruition in other states with similar proposals. One example is the claim that term limits create “citizen legislators,” which Mooney feels is an unrealistic goal for Illinois.
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“Big state, urban state, lots of problems, big government. I mean, we’re not Arkansas, we’re not Montana, right? They can’t get their job done in a four-week legislative session,” Mooney said. But he says opponents of term limits who claim it shifts power to lobbyists are also wrong. “Lobbyists I talk to all around the country, they can’t stand term limits. Why? Because their business relies on developing relationships with lawmakers,” Mooney said. Mooney says he’s afraid the debate on term limits has been too focused on emotion, rather than evidence that can be collected from other states.