Idea Surfaced in 2002 Libertarian Party Gubernatorial Campaign Gaining Legs

When an idea gains strength journalists say it has “legs.”

The idea for a constitutional amendment to limit the number of terms a person could be House Speaker or Minority Leader and Senate President or Minority Leader was a major part of my Libertarian Party campaign for Governor against Rod Blagojevich and Jim Ryan in 2002.

Now, as you can see in the Illinois Senate Republican press release below, the proposal has  moved forward.


“Term Limits for Legislative Leaders, 1800-SHAKE-UP”reads the sign used in Cal Skinner’s 2002 Libertarian Party campaign for Governor.

The Illinois Senate has advanced a measure spearheaded by Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno that would allow for permanent term limits of all four state legislative leaders.

“This constitutional amendment is a significant step forward in demonstrating to Illinois residents how serious we are about restoring their faith in government,” said Radogno (R-Lemont).

When the 100th General Assembly was sworn in this past January, the Senate adopted its new rules, which for the first time put in place term limits for Senate legislative leaders.

As a result, Senate rules limit both the Senate President and Minority Leader to a maximum of five terms (10 years).

The measure advanced Friday, Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 2 (SJRCA 2), would permanently create leadership term limits via constitutional amendment by limiting the terms to five General Assemblies (10 years) for the Illinois Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, House Minority Leader and Senate Minority Leader.

If approved by both the Illinois Senate and House with a three-fifths vote, SJRCA 2 would be on the Illinois ballot in November 2018.

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If the change makes the 2018 ballot and passes, Mike Madigan would still be able to remain in office another ten years, starting in 2019.

Should he retain power for the ten years after that, he would be 85 years old.

I’m thinking Madigan might well allow a vote.

That would accomplish two things:

  1. make him look like a reformer, while
  2. ensuring that no one would ever be able to be House Speaker longer than he

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