How Did We Get Here? Term Limits Nationwide and in Illinois

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Alden Loury, Senior Policy Analyst, BGA
Alex Gilewicz, Policy Associate, BGA

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How Did We Get Here? Term Limits Nationwide and in Illinois

  1. 1. How Did We Get Here? Term Limits Nationwide and in Illinois Alden Loury, Senior Policy Analyst, BGA Alex Gilewicz, Policy Associate, BGA
  2. 2. Research • black-letter law of states for side-by-side comparison • Similar to BGA analysis for 2013 Integrity Index • Noted length, nature and implementation of executive and legislative term limits • Presence of term limits in 20 largest U.S. cities and several Illinois municipalities • Researched by law students with Kirkland & Ellis in Summer 2013, updated by Alden Loury and Alex Gilewicz
  3. 3. Definitions • Absolute—Once a legislator or executive has served the number of years or terms outlined by the limits, they are ineligible to run for election to that office again. • Consecutive—An individual may serve in a given position for the length of time set by the term limits, then must leave the position. After a period of time, the clock is reset, and the individual can serve in that same position for the same period of time.
  4. 4. Executive Term Limits
  5. 5. Legislative Term Limits
  6. 6. Implementation – States • Constitutional Provision: Limits included in original draft of current constitution or in subsequent revisions of the constitution that were not clearly introduced by citizen or legislator ballot initiatives • Initiative: Term limits amendment adopted after being placed on the ballot by citizen petition • Referendum: Term limits amendment adopted after being placed on the ballot by the legislature
  7. 7. Implementation – Executive • Constitutional Provision: 19 states • AL, AK, DE, GA, HI, IN, KS, KY, LA, MD, MS, NV, NJ, NM, NC, OR, SD, VA, WV • Initiative: 10 states • AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, KY*, MI, MT, OH, WY • Referendum: 9 states • ME, MO, NE, NC*, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN *constitutional limit extended by ballot initiative or referendum
  8. 8. Implementation – Legislative • Constitutional Provision: None • Initiative: 13 states • AZ, AR, CA, CO, FL, ME**, MI, MO, MT, NE, NV, OH, OK • Referendum: 3 states • LA, MO*, SD *Missouri’s legislative limits were enacted by voter initiative and modified by a legislatively-referred amendment **Maine’s legislative limits are statutory, not constitutional
  9. 9. Overturned or Ruled Unconstitutional • Idaho: – Repealed in 2002 by the State Legislature • Massachusetts: – Repealed in 1997 by the State Supreme Court • Oregon: – Rule unconstitutional in 1995 and 2002 by U.S. Supreme Court and Oregon Supreme Court, respectively • Utah: – Repealed in 2003 by the legislature • Washington: – Repealed in 1998 by the State Supreme Court • Wyoming: – Repealed in 2004 by the State Supreme Court Source: National Conference of State Legislatures
  10. 10. Term Limits at the Local Level • Most of the 20 largest U.S. Cities have limits of some kind • Chicago is the only city among the 10 largest U.S. cities with no limits of any kind • Chicago – Richard M. Daley: 22 Years in office – Richard J. Daley: 21 Years in office – Ald. Ed Burke: 45 Years in the City Council • New York City – Contentious two-term limits endorsed by voters three times since 1993
  11. 11. Executive Limits in Largest Cities • Absolute: 6 cities – Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, El Paso, Memphis • Consecutive: 8 cities – New York City, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Jose, Austin, Jacksonville, San Francisco • None: 6 cities – Chicago, Indianapolis, Columbus, Fort Worth, Charlotte, Detroit
  12. 12. Legislative Limits in Largest Cities • Absolute: 6 cities – Los Angeles, San Antonio, San Diego, Dallas, El Paso, Memphis • Consecutive: 7 cities – New York City, Houston, Phoenix, San Jose, Austin, Jacksonville, San Francisco • None: 7 cities – Chicago, Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Columbus, For t Worth, Charlotte, Detroit
  13. 13. Illinois Local Municipalities • Des Plaines, Downers Grove, Lake Forest, Lombard, Niles, and Oak Lawn have all established or extended municipal term limits by referenda since 1998 • Municipal term limit referenda usually pass (12 of 13 since 1998) • Lyons abolished their term limits this year (a previous attempt to abolish them failed in 2006)
  14. 14. Snapshot of Illinois • Michael Madigan – 43 years in office – 4 years House Majority Leader – 4 years House Minority Leader – 29 years Speaker of the House • Jim Durkin – 16 years in office – Under 1 year in leadership • John Cullerton – 12 years in House, 23 years in Senate (35 combined years in office) – 5 years in leadership • Christine Rodogno – 17 years in office – 5 years in leadership Average Tenure of All Illinois General Assembly Members: 8.5 years
  15. 15. Illinois Senate
  16. 16. Illinois Senate with limits
  17. 17. Illinois House
  18. 18. Illinois House with limits
  19. 19. Proposed Legislation in Illinois • In the 98th General Assembly, there have been 16 Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment proposals to introduce term limits in some form. – 11 in House, 5 in Senate • Since 2010, more leadership limit proposals introduced in Illinois than in any other state • The Committee for Legislative Reform and Term Limits has been circulating petitions for a ballot initiative to be placed on the ballot in November.
  20. 20. Conclusions? • No single approach to term limits; vary widely in length, form and implementation • Legislative limits usually enacted by voter initiatives • Term limits popular with voters; legislative limits not very popular with lawmakers • Important to consider constitutional legality and ramifications of these efforts, as we’ve seen in Oregon, Massachusetts, Wyoming, Washington. • Paul Hale will pick up with a focus on case law in Illinois.

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