Illinois Term Limits for Legislators Amendment (2014)
Currently, the measure is in circulation and supporters claim to have obtained more than half of the signatures required thus far.
The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits listed the following as the purposes of the amendment:
(1) to establish term limits for members of the General Assembly;
(2) to require a two-thirds vote in each chamber of the General Assembly to override the Governor’s veto of legislation;
(3) to abolish two-year senatorial terms;
(4) to change the House of Representatives from 118 representatives to 123 representatives;
(5) to change the Senate from 59 senators to 41 senators; and
(6) to divide legislative (senatorial) districts into three representative districts rather than two.
Text of measure
If this amendment is approved it would change portions of Sections 1, 2, and 9 of Article IV of the Constitution of the State of Illinois to read:
ARTICLE IV SECTION 1. LEGISLATURE – POWER AND STRUCTURE
The legislative power is vested in a General Assembly consisting of a Senate and a House of Representatives, elected by the electors from 41 Legislative Districts and 123 Representative Districts, with such numeration to become effective on January 1, 2023. These Legislative Districts and Representative Districts shall be drawn as provided by law following each decennial census.
ARTICLE IV SECTION 2. LEGISLATIVE COMPOSITION
(a) One Senator shall be elected from each Legislative District. Immediately following each decennial redistricting, the General Assembly by law shall divide the Legislative Districts as equally as possible into three groups. Senators from one group shall be elected for terms of four years, four years and two years; Senators from the second group, for terms of four years, two years and four years; and Senators from the third group, for terms of two years, four years and four years. The Legislative Districts in each group shall be distributed substantially equally over the State. Notwithstanding the foregoing, effective January 1, 2023, all Senate terms will be for four years.
(b) Each Legislative District shall be divided into three Representative Districts. In 1982 and every two years thereafter one Representative shall be elected from each Representative District for a term of two years.
. . .
(f) No person may serve more than eight years in the General Assembly. No person may be elected or appointed as Senator or Representative if upon completion of the term of office that person will have been a member of the General Assembly for more than eight years. Time served in the General Assembly before the session beginning in January 2015 does not count toward the eight-year service limitation.
ARTICLE IV SECTION 9. VETO PROCEDURE
(c) The house to which a bill is returned shall immediately enter the Governor’s objections upon its journal. If within 15 calendar days after such entry that house by a record vote of two-thirds of the members elected passes the bill, it shall be delivered immediately to the second house. If within 15 calendar days after such delivery the second house by a record vote of two-thirds of the members elected passes the bill, it shall become law.
The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits is leading the campaign in support of the measure.
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the Illinois Constitution
Supporters must gather and submit 298,399 valid signatures by May 4, 2014. As of March 6, 2014, the Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits website said that the group had gathered 256,000 signatures.
- Christopher Z. Mooney, Institute of Government & Public Affairs, “State Legislative Term Limits in Illinois? Prospects and Potential Impacts,” December 2007
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