Illinois’ governor is back to pushing for political reforms, urging lawmakers to approve a ballot initiative for term limits when they return from summer break.
Gov. Bruce Rauner used Monday’s speech in Chicago to kick off a two day tour of Illinois stretching from Rockford to Mount Vernon.
Rauner said it’s sad there’s such a high number of incumbent elected officials without primary opponents. He said it’s even more frustrating that two-thirds of incumbents face no general election opponent.
Rauner said term limits can change that “by changing the culture back to public service, not personal gain, by forcing the lifetime politicians to find new jobs and by bringing new faces and new ideas back to Springfield.”
Rauner said public service should be about serving the public, not about personal enrichment and securing a government pension. He also pushed for changing how the state draws legislative districts every ten years.
Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director David Yepsen said both term limits and redistricting reform are popular among voters, but not among politicians. The real way to bring about fresh faces in politics, he said, is redistricting reform.
“The district lines would change enough that there would be simply a natural turnover in members, there would be new challengers who would come forward and so it would make it easier for more turnover to occur in the legislature,” Yepsen said. “But that’s why a lot of legislators don’t like that idea.”
The state Supreme Court will take up the citizen-led effort to change how political maps are drawn with the first brief due Thursday, July 28.