Today, the Illinois House of Representatives passed two pieces of reform legislation sponsored by State Representative Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich) that will change the status quo in Illinois. The first bill, House Bill 642, institutes statutory term limits on leadership positions of the Illinois General Assembly. The historic reform comes on the heels of former Speaker Mike Madigan’s more than 30-year reign coming to an end. The second bill, House Bill 162, establishes a regular process to determine action for local government improvements and consolidation.
“I came to Springfield to advance reforms that put the power of government back in the hands of the people, and these two pieces of bipartisan legislation are important steps in making that change a reality,” said Bos. “Putting leadership term limits into state statute ensures we won’t have another Mike Madigan with near-total control over the legislative process for decades. Similarly, House Bill 162 puts the power directly into the hands of people in local communities to address local government efficiency and accountability, and pursue action that leads to lower property taxes and even consolidation. This is how government should operate, and I’m proud to sponsor these measures.”
Under the provisions of HB 642, no person may serve more than 10 consecutive years as Speaker of the House of Representatives, President of the Senate, Minority Leader of the House of Representatives or Minority Leader of the Senate. While the House Republican Caucus has previously instituted term limits on leadership roles for its members, placing the leadership position limit into state statute ensures that the restriction will be enshrined in law and cannot be altered by a simple rule change.
To improve local government operation, HB 162 Creates the Decennial Committees on Local Government Consolidation and Efficiency Act. At least once every 10 years, committees of local residents will be formed to review the efficiency and accountability of local governments. The citizen committees will provide recommendations to improve local governments, including the option to consolidate local governments with duplicative or inefficient operations as a means to reduce unnecessary government bodies and property taxes.
Both bills passed the House overwhelmingly and now head to the Senate for consideration before being sent to the Governor.