State term-limit proposal moves ahead

Apr 29, 2014

The two top Republicans in the General Assembly say Illinois would be better off if there were increased turnover in its highest offices. But their effort to institute term limits for governor and other top state politicians were thwarted.

Democrats, including Senator James Clayborne of Belleville, voted against it. Clayborne noted that the sponsors of the constitutional amendments -- House Republican Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno -- have both had lengthy careers as legislators.

"If I propose a constitutional amendment that I believe will diminish incumbency, will allow people with great ideas and fresh ideas to come into these chambers, then I should be willing to practice."

Despite Clayborne's prodding, neither Durkin nor Radogno would commit to any self-imposed limit on their terms as leaders. The Republicans say it's hard to recruit people to run for statewide office given the advantage incumbents have.

Meanwhile, an unrelated plan to limit legislators' terms is moving ahead Wednesday.  A campaign led by Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is scheduled to submit thousands of petitions to put that question on the November ballot.