State Representative Tom Bennett (R-Gibson City) joined other House Republican freshman
legislators today in backing measures to allow voters impose term limits on the General Assembly. Citing the state’s lingering fiscal crisis, high tax burden, and the sharply partisan, autocratic rule of Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago), who has served as Speaker for 30 of the past 32 years, Republicans stressed that term limits are needed to restore accountability to voters.
“We’re in the mess we’re in because a handful of elected officials have put preserving their own power and control above the needs of Illinois families. Speaker Madigan has been in complete control of everything that will be considered – or not considered – in the Illinois House for approximately 30 years. He and Senate President Cullerton have been in the General Assembly for more than 80 years combined, and the impact on our state and our economy speaks for itself,” Representative Bennett said.
An initiative to put a binding term limits referendum on the 2014 General Election ballot was denied by a three-judge Illinois Appellate Court last August, leaving legislative action as the best alternative. With three separate joint constitutional amendments filed, House Republicans point to the onset of gridlock so early into the new Governor’s first term along with the increasingly draconian House rules as evidence that term limits need immediate consideration.
House Republicans have three separate constitutional amendments filed aimed at imposing term limits in Illinois: HJRCA1 filed by Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove), HJRCA 10 filed by Rep. Joe Sosnowski (R- Rockford) and HJRCA 28 filed by Rep. Steve Andersson (R-Geneva); all seek to put on the ballot limits on legislative terms to varying degrees. It is expected the Governor’s own proposal will be filed soon.
“I came to Springfield to help solve problems, not to become a ‘lifetime legislator’,” said Representative Bennett. “I support term limits for members of the General Assembly, and I think its past time that we put that choice before the voters as a constitutional amendment.”