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Bill to Limit Legislative Leader Terms to 10 Years Advances

(Ted Schurter/The State Journal-Register via AP, Pool)

After a 36-year term by House Speaker Michael Madigan, the longest such term in the history of the nation, Illinois lawmakers are talking term limits.

House Bill 642, introduced by Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D-Chicago Heights, would limit the terms of all General Assembly leadership to 10 years.

“When leadership term limits was approved in our House rules, this is really taking it to an entirely new level,” DeLuca said. “It is exciting for the members and the membership and there is a lot of interest in doing something like this. I am honored to be carrying the bill.”

If signed into law, term limits would affect the Speaker of the House of Representatives, president of the Senate, and the minority leaders of the House and Senate.

The bill has bipartisan support, including from Democratic House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.

State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Normal, a co-sponsor of the bill, said he has heard from constituents who want to know how some lawmakers can remain in a position of power for decades.

“That is one of the things that the electorate is so frustrated with and doesn’t understand is that concentration of power and how that is created is in Springfield itself and not from the ballot box that the electorate votes on representatives,” Brady said.

The bill is now headed to the House floor. If signed into law, it would reset the clock for those currently in leadership and would go into effect at the beginning of the 103rd General Assembly begins in January 2023.