Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner saw his showpiece issue permanently removed from November ballots Friday when the Illinois Supreme Court said it wouldn't hear an appeal to ask voters if they want term limits in Illinois.
The Winnetka businessman has made a campaign slogan out of "eight years and out," arguing state lawmakers shouldn't serve more than that long. And a committee he backed won enough petition signatures to put a constitutional amendment about term limits on the November ballot.
But previous courts ruled the proposal was unconstitutional, and the Illinois Supreme Court rejected the appeal in a three-sentence ruling Friday afternoon. It ruled it would not hear the case. And it ruled an attempt to delay the November ballot being certified was moot.
"A pro-term limits General Assembly pushed by a pro-term limits governor can put this critical reform in place any day they want," Rauner said in a statement. "Illinoisans should have that in mind when they vote this November."
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in 1994 similarly was rejected by the Illinois Supreme Court in his own bid to create eight-year term limits. Quinn has criticized Rauner's attempt 20 years later, saying it would also change the number of lawmakers in Springfield.
The November ballot includes five statewide referendums aimed at boosting turnout among Democratics, including whether Illinois should raise the minimum wage, whether incomes over $1 million should be taxed at a higher rate and whether health insurance plans should be required to cover prescription birth control.