SPRINGFIELD — A constitutional amendment to limit legislative leaders to eight years in those roles is being proposed by a Democratic lawmaker.
State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shoreood) says the bill is her response to constituent concerns about leaders serving for too long. She admits most people who speak to her are directing their criticism at the 30-year-plus reign of House Speaker Michael Madigan.
“They do. Yes, they do,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “As I try to expound in conversation and pull them out, I explain the Speaker, like me, they’re voted in their district, so…his district likes him, so he’ll be voted in again.”
Bertino-Tarrant doesn’t believe term limits on leaders would necessarily keep talented lawmakers from seeking leadership positions, or force former leaders to retire rather than return to being a rank-and-file member of the General Assembly.
Since the bill proposes a change to the Illinois Constitution, it must pass by a three-fifths majority vote in both chambers before being approved by voters.