Term Limits Push Has Enough Signatures, But Lawsuit Still Threatens
By Brian Mackey
Illinois officials say a citizens' initiative to put term limits on state legislators has gathered enough signatures to appear on the ballot. But there are other roadblocks before that can happen.
Collecting nearly twice the number of required signatures paid off for the Term Limits and Reform group.
Rupert Borgsmiller, director of the Illinois State Board of Elections, said a sample validated roughly 61 percent of those signatures. He said he expects to present those findings to the board for final approval on June 17.
"It appears that they have enough valid signatures for this process, and should be placed on the ballot, depending upon other actions that might take place between now and the 22nd of August," Borgsmiller said.
That caveat is important: "other actions" include a lawsuit filed by a longtime associate of House Speaker Michael Madigan.
The term limits proposal seeks to restrict state lawmakers to eight years in office, plus change the size of the General Assembly and weaken its power. The lawsuit said that doesn't meet the Illinois Constitution's narrow parameters for citizen initiatives.
The case is expected to be argued all the way up to the Illinois Supreme Court.