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updated: 4/30/2014 5:39 AM

Democrats block term limits proposal

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  • Christine Radogno

      Christine Radogno

  • Jim Durkin

      Jim Durkin

By Zachary White

Democrats blocked a last-minute Republican proposal Tuesday that would have prohibited executive branch members from serving more than two terms in office.

The plan would have applied to the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, comptroller, attorney general and treasurer but is different from a push by Republican gubernatorial hopeful Bruce Rauner to limit lawmakers to eight years in office.

The plan to limit executives was led by state Sen. Christine Radogno, a Lemont Republican, and state Rep. Jim Durkin, a Western Springs Republican. But it was rejected by a subcommittee controlled by Democrats.

It would have put a question on the November ballot for voters to decide if members of the executive branch should be limited in how long they serve. Democrats criticized Republicans for proposing the amendment with only a few days before a deadline to get questions on the ballot.

Radogno said she waited so long to introduce the constitutional amendment because she didn't know how she felt about term limits, but that changed when she saw there was interest among the general public.

"There is a great deal of demonstrated interested in term limits, and we know that based on the fact that there is a very robust campaign out there," Radogno said.

But state Sen. James Clayborne, a Belleville Democrat, said he didn't think the public interest was genuine given that Rauner offered to pay people to collect signatures.

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