To the many thousands of Illinois residents who have signed petitions for Bruce Rauner’s term limits amendment in expectation of soon being rid of House Speaker Mike Madigan and his cohorts, I’m afraid you should have read the fine print.
Even if the proposed constitutional amendment makes it on the November ballot for a referendum, and even if that referendum were to be approved by the voters, it doesn’t get rid of anybody in the Legislature for eight more years.
That means it would be January of 2023 before Madigan or any other legislators would be required by law to step aside under the proposed eight-year maximum time in office, organizers concede.
By then, Madigan would be 80-years-old. Father Time may have arranged Madigan’s exit from the Speaker’s post at that point, although I can understand taking nothing for granted in that regard given Madigan’s health and obstinance.
With the primary election now behind us and Rauner moving forward as the GOP nominee, you should expect to hear plenty more in coming months about the term limits amendment — and what it would and wouldn’t do.
Based on the emails I’m receiving, I think many voters will be surprised to learn it wouldn’t bring the immediate end of Madigan’s reign, but would immediately give more power to Illinois’ next governor. (Now, who might that be?)
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