Once a champion of term limits for politicians, Gov. Pat Quinn won’t commit to one for himself. One of Quinn’s potential Republican challengers, Bruce Rauner, wants a proposal to limit Illinois politicians to eight years in office to be placed on the November ballot. That’s similar to the “Eight is Enough” initiative that Quinn pushed for while serving as state treasurer in 1994. Now, Quinn says there has to be a change in the state Constitution first.
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“I think you have to pass a term limit amendment. Then that starts the clock,” Quinn said. Phillip Blumel, president of U.S. Term Limits, hopes that Quinn will strengthen his stance on the issue. “There’s always been a sort of populist, citizen-oriented tilt to Pat Quinn, back in the day,” Blumel said, “but now he’s been in the governorship for quite some time and it’s also his opponent’s proposal.”
Getting term limits on the ballot would require 300,000 signatures. A group headed by Rauner, the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits, claims to have collected more than half of that. The specific proposal, if voters approve, would limit lawmakers to eight years in office, with the cock starting with the January 2015 inaugurations.