West Chicago, IL – Following the inaugural ceremony to serve the 49th Representative District, Mike Fortner (R – West Chicago) filed a proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution to limit how long any one person can serve in leadership roles in the Illinois General Assembly. The leadership roles are Speaker of the House, President of the Senate, House Minority Leader and Senate Minority Leader.

“The members of the General Assembly are directly elected by the people, but their leaders are not. The selected leaders are not directly accountable to the people of Illinois,” said Fortner. “I believe leadership term limits are an essential part of the process to ensure that the representation of Illinois is done fairly and responsibly.”

House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 0007 (HJRCA0007) would make a change to the current rules of the state’s constitution, amending Article 5 by introducing term limits for the House Speaker, President of the Senate, and Minority Leader for each chamber. If passed, the amendment will allow a maximum of 8 years in any one leadership role, not to exceed an overall maximum of 12 years of service in any combination of the four leadership roles. Currently, the state does not impose term limits on the leaders of the legislature.

“Beginning in 2011 I have sponsored legislation in each General Assembly for leadership term limits. To allow any one person continuous control can be damaging not only to this institution but also to the state,” said Fortner. “We take an oath to serve the Illinois people to the best of our ability, not for power plays, and I think we lose sight of that. I strongly believe in the need for leadership term limits.”

This past Wednesday, when the 99th General Assembly convened for the inaugural ceremony, Rep. Michael J. Madigan was re-elected as Speaker of the House. At the completion of this term, he will have served 32 years as Illinois’ Speaker of the House, making him the longest serving Speaker in not just Illinois, but the entire nation.

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