State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) has signed on as chief co-sponsor of legislation which would limit the years a Member of the Illinois General Assembly could serve in a leadership position. The bill, introduced by State Representative Mike Fortner (R-West Chicago), is an effort to ensure that the Statehouse will receive new leadership on a regular basis.
“For decades only a handful of lawmakers have controlled what legislation comes before the General Assembly,” said Rep. Butler. “The citizens of Illinois do not get to vote on who becomes the leaders of the House and Senate, but this legislation would ensure citizens have turnover of these positions far more regularly than they have currently. Enacting term limits for the positions which control the legislature would bring more accountability and more cooperation to the Statehouse.”
House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 7 (HJRCA7) would limit the years a Member could serve as Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, Minority Leader of the House and Minority Leader of the Senate to a total of 8 years in any single position and 12 years combined in 2 or more positions. If passed, this resolution would apply to service beginning in January 2017.
Rep. Butler added, “What we have seen from the current situation is that unabated power leads to a squelching of ideas and a stifling of debate. Legislative leaders shouldn’t be able to hold power for decades to further their own agendas.”
HJRCA7 awaits approval in the Illinois House of Representatives.