State News
1:37 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Rauner files term limit petition

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner presents his term limit petition in Springfield on Wednesday.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner presents his term limit petition in Springfield on Wednesday.
Credit Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio/WUIS

Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner has filed his term limit petition with Illinois election officials. If approved by voters in November, legislators would be capped at eight years in office. 

But voters won't get that chance if the proposal is knocked off the ballot. A Democratic Party lawyer is suing on the grounds that it doesn't conform to the strict standards required of constitutional amendments. That's what killed a previous attempt to institute term limits, spearheaded by Governor Pat Quinn in the '90s. 

But Rauner says his plan was designed to withstand a constitutional test.  It also increases the size of the House, downsizes the state Senate,  and makes it harder to override a governor's veto. 

"We think that's a better balance of power between the General Assembly and the Governor's office ... It makes it easier for outsiders, new leaders to come in and win Senate seats," says Rauner.

Rauner says the nearly 600 thousand signatures collected during an eight-month petition drive show that term limits are popular with voters.