Jesiel Takes Steps to Force Issue on Term-Limits and Unbiased Redistricting

GURNEE – Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) is sponsoring House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendments 1 and 2 (HJRCA 1 and HJRCA 2) to revive efforts to implement term-limits and reform redistricting of elected offices. HJRCA 1 seeks to limit the number of terms in office for Illinois State Senators and Representatives, while HJRCA 2 seeks to reform the redistricting process by taking the process of drawing legislative and representative districts out of the hands of the officials holding those respective offices.

“Illinois has been plagued by career politicians that have driven our state into one of the worst fiscal nightmares to ever impact state government,” said Jesiel. “Calling for term-limits and redistricting free of political bias are important steps to help counteract this type of continued behavior and restore Illinois to a state we’re proud to call home.”

House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1 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.

House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 2 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.

“Sadly, opponents of similar initiatives blocked last year’s attempts to let the people of Illinois have their voices be heard and prevented those efforts from being put on the ballot,” said Jesiel. “Though last year’s attempts fell short, we have the best opportunity in more than a decade to make these initiatives a reality with Gov. Rauner in office. I look forward to working with the Governor and my legislative colleagues to bring this change that the people of Illinois are demanding.”

Full text and further details for each of these Amendment Resolutions can be found at: http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/grplist.asp?num1=1&num2=17&DocTypeID=HJRCA&GA=99&SessionID=88.