Term limits
6:17 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Top Republicans Propose Term Limits For Governor, Other Executive Officers

Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

  Two of Illinois' top Republicans want to limit how long someone can stay on as governor of Illinois. But they only have about two weeks to get the proposed constitutional amendment through the General Assembly.

Hannah Meisel reports on a plan to limit the number of terms Illinois' executive officers can serve.

Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) are floating a two-term limit for the state's six top offices.

That means an eight-year tenure for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, comptroller, treasurer and secretary of state.

It's the latest plan seeking term limits in Illinois; Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is funding an initiative that would institute limits for members of the General Assembly.

Republicans say term limits are a chance for 'fresh perspectives' in state government. Senate GOP spokeswoman Patty Schuh says the state's poor financial health speaks volumes.

"With the condition of Illinois, and the position we're in, maybe it's time to allow term limits to go to the voters," she said.

But they'll have to race against the clock to push it through, if at all.

Because Democrats control the General Assembly, they often decide when (and if) measures are called for a vote.

A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan declined to comment, beyond wondering why the Republicans had waited so long to file the measure.

But Schuh says it can be done.

"It would be cutting it close, there's no doubt but ... we've seen the Democrats move a lot of legislation if they're inclined," she said.

Though the limits wouldn't begin until 2018, only two of the six executives currently 'break' those limits: Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who's been in office for 11 years, and Secretary of State Jesse White, who's been in office spans 15 years.