* Eric Zorn wants term limits for legislative leaders in order to get rid of Speaker Madigan…
Gov. Pat Quinn and Rauner support leadership term limits, though their first choice is legislative term limits, according to their spokesmen. The other three Republican gubernatorial candidates — Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard — support leadership term limits.
The public is also enthusiastic: A September 2012 poll of Illinois voters by the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found that 78 percent support the idea.
And yet. Illinois lawmakers have introduced proposed constitutional amendments to limit the terms of legislative leaders 10 times since 2007 and never gotten so much as a committee vote — a pattern of failure seen in seven other states in the last 15 years.
No state has such limits in its constitution, analyst Brenda Erickson said.
There’s an effective limit on the terms of Senate presidents in 14 states where the lieutenant governor is term limited and also serves as the president of the state Senate. Four states limit leadership terms either by chamber rules or caucus rules, and one state, Maine, has statutory but not constitutional limits.
It’s hard not to think that the reason such a popular and obvious proposal has such trouble moving through legislatures is that the men and women whose job security is threatened by leadership limits are the same men and women who have the power to sidetrack legislation.
* The Question: Would you support a ten-year term limit for all four state legislative leaders? Take the poll and then explain your answer in comments, please.