Legislation to allow the Mayor of Chicago to be recalled is gaining support from Republicans, and may lead to a discussion about recall at all levels of government around the state.
State Reps. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) and Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) have signed onto the recall legislation, originally introduced by State Rep. LaShawn Ford (D-Chicago).
Sandack says his co-sponsorship is based on two factors: a belief that Chicago's problems affect the rest of the state, and supporting the idea of recall for elected officials at all levels of government.
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"I generally favor the concept of recall, having that ability given to the citizenry and at its disposal for when circumstances merit," Sandack said.
If the bill is passed, a recall election would be initiated if signatures are collected totaling at least 15 percent of the total votes cast in the last mayoral election--in this case, the requirement would be more than 86,000 signatures. Proponents would also need at least 50 signatures from all of Chicago's 50 wards, and two Chicago aldermen would have to sign off on the recall.
Those requirements are notably less stringent than what is needed to recall a governor, the only statewide office where such a mechanism exists. Before petitions could be circulated, at 20 House members and 10 state senators, equally balanced between the two parties, would have to sign a notice of intent for a recall.
Sandack thinks the mayoral recall bill may lead legislators to question the requirements for recalling governors.
"While I don't think it's unfair to bring out the criteria in one and compare and contrast it, and maybe that means that we need some tweaking in one or the other or perhaps even both, I look forward to having that type of conversation in committee," Sandack said.
Proponents of the recall legislation have promised to gather 1 million signatures to deliver to the Capitol on January 13, the next scheduled session day for the General Assembly.