* The governor has been barnstorming the state about term limits this week…
Standing atop a hay wagon on the property, Rauner asked an assembled crowd of citizens and local public officials to demand members of the Legislature vote during their fall veto session on putting a constitutional amendment on the ballot to impose term limits on state officials.
The Rauner plan would limit statewide officeholders to eight years in a position — two terms — and no more than 10 years in the General Assembly, either five House terms or three Senate terms. […]
“Be a regular person. … Serve for a few years, do what’s right for the people and then go back to the real world,” Rauner said.
His tour on Tuesday took him to four regions of the state — near Rockford, Springfield and the Quad Cities, and between Peoria and Bloomington — though the districts he stopped in were primarily represented by Republicans, who have been friendlier to his plans. All are represented by a Republican in the state Senate, and three out of the four stops were in districts with a Republican in the state House.
The issue polls extremely well, and he’s been firmly on-message everywhere he’s spoken so far. Also, he doesn’t need to actually be in a targeted district to make his point about the ruling party, as long as he’s in the same media market as one.
* But not everybody is enthused…
State Rep. Dan Brady, R-Bloomington, differs with Gov. Bruce Rauner when it comes to term limits. […]
Brady told WJBC’s Scott Laughlin voters should be able to remove lawmakers if they want, but for the legislative leadership positions, such as the one House Speaker Mike Madigan has held for three decades, that’s another story.
“Those types of changes should be looked at when it comes to something where you have the speaker as long as he has (been in office),” Brady said. “If you want real reform, I think you ought to be talking about within the caucuses.”
Rauner said in a visit to El Paso on Tuesday wants the General Assembly to pass term limits and redistricting reform since citizen-led efforts have failed in the courts. Brady suggests with Madigan in power, that will never happen.
Chris Mooney, director of the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, said [the failure of more than a dozen legislative term limit proposals in Illinois since 2015] shouldn’t come as a surprise. […]
Two state legislatures that did approve term limits — Louisiana and Utah — did so only because more restrictive measures were coming down the pike through voter initiatives, he said.
Mooney said research has shown that many claims from proponents and opponents of term limits aren’t supported by the facts. For examples, they don’t seem to increase electoral competition as proponents argue, he said, nor do they appear to concentrate more power in the hands of lobbyists as opponents claim.
The most significant impact of term limits is that they’ve resulted in an “increase in power of the executive branch at the expense of the legislative branch,” Mooney said.
“It’s excellent politics,” he said. “It’s questionable for governance.”