Wheeler Co-Sponsors Legislation to Enact Term Limits and Stop Gerrymandering

Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) recently chief co-sponsored legislation to enact term limits for Illinois lawmakers and put a stop to gerrymandering by removing the process of incumbents drawing their own legislative districts to ensure their re-election. The two reform proposals if approved by the legislature would send a signal to Governor Rauner that the legislature is ready to solve the current budget impasse.

“Since I first took office in January 2013 I have been advocating for term limits and redistricting reform,” said Rep. Barb Wheeler. “These are two very simple reforms which deserve an up or down vote in the legislature. At the very least we owe it to the people of Illinois to allow their lawmaker to vote on term limits and put a stop to gerrymandering.”

Rep. Barb Wheeler added, “Term limits and redistricting reform are two of the five proposals Governor Rauner would like to see considered by the legislature. We should be back in Springfield today and at least send these two simple proposals to the Governor’s desk, then get back to the negotiating table to hammer out a state budget. We need to get back to work now and we need a state budget now.”

The two legislative reform proposals chief co-sponsored by Rep. Barb Wheeler to eliminate gerrymandering and enact term limits are HJRCA 49 and HJRCA 51.

House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 49 calls for the State Board of Elections to develop a specialized computer program to create unbiased districts for Illinois State Senators and Representatives. The computer program designated by the Board of Elections must disregard specified data and must consider certain prioritized factors to help ensure that districts are otherwise produced in a random manner and not correlated to a political party affiliation and gerrymandering. At present, Illinois State Senators and Representatives draw the maps for redistricting themselves, often leading to a basis in favor of one party.

House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 51 seeks to prohibit members of the Illinois General Assembly from serving more than ten years in office. This Amendment to the Illinois Constitution would essentially limit Illinois State Senators to three terms (one term of two years and two terms of four years) and Illinois State Representatives to five terms in office. It also stipulates that no person can use a combination of the offices of Senator or Representative to serve more than ten years. Currently, neither of these offices have any limit on the number of terms or years served, or limitations on an elected official holding a leadership role in their respective body of the legislature.

Full text and further details for each of these legislative proposals can be found at: http://ilga.gov/