Calling for a need to end the ability of one person to amass devastating power in Illinois, State Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) is pushing for a constitutional amendment that would impose term limits on all lawmakers – not just those in leadership.
“Look at the landscape of Illinois after House Speaker Michael Madigan’s more than three decades as House Speaker,” Rose said. “We are a laughing stock around the country. Compromise doesn’t exist under the dome. The state’s finances and backlog of bills are a catastrophe. That’s what serving your own self-interests, power, and a lack of term limits will do. Enough is enough. It is time to return the legislature to the citizens of Illinois.”
Rose’s SJRCA 12 is unlike other term limits measures as it takes effect immediately and applies to current legislators. For example, a legislator who has already served in their current position for 10 years or more, this would become their last term in office. For someone who has served in their current position for six years, as an example, he or she could serve only four more years. Other proposals do not take effect until after the 2020 census (2022 election), giving current legislators more years to serve on top of their current terms.
“Why wait? Let’s impose term limits as soon as the voters approve them,” Rose said.
A 2016 poll conducted by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale found “there are over 80 percent who favor a constitutional amendment limiting the number of terms a state representative or state senator can serve.”
In January, the Senate unanimously adopted Senate Resolution 3, which makes changes to its rules enacting term limits of 10 years on the offices of Senate President and Senate Minority Leader.
“I was proud to be a part of the first ever curtailing of leadership power in Springfield, when I voted to restrict the length that Leaders can serve in the Senate,” Rose said. “And while the Senate made a bi-partisan statement that ‘enough is enough,’ the same day, the House Democrats re-elected Madigan to a record 17th term. He’ll be Speaker for 34 years by the time this current term is done. The people of Illinois deserve a chance to vote on changing the Constitution and term limit all legislators. This proposal simply gives the citizens of Illinois the right to vote on this important topic.”