How do Illinois’ legislative leaders feel about term limits being imposed on them? This is an idea that a state lawmaker wants to get on the ballot next year, and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) says he’s for it. “There should be limits on not only the speaker but also the House minority leader. There should be no inalienable right to those positions, and I think that in time, you know the dynamics that would go down within these caucuses, but I think new faces, fresh ideas is the right way to go in those chambers,” said Durkin, who became minority leader last year.
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Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago) is disinclined. He says he has to go before his fellow Senate Democrats every two years and ask to be re-elected, which he says is a humbling experience. Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) says she’s not opposed, though she notes that those in the office of Senate president and minority leader and House minority leader have turned over with some regularity; it is only House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago) who has held the gavel for 30 years.
Cullerton became Senate president and Radogno became Senate minority leader in 2009. Madigan has been speaker since 1983, except for a two-year period (1995-96) when he was minority leader.