Former Gov. Jim Edgar isn’t in favor of imposing term limits on state legislators.
Speaking at a symposium on term limits in Chicago, Edgar said he was against term limits in the 1990s, and remains unconvinced that it wouldn’t harm state government now. Edgar believes the push is too centered on one politician.
“I don’t think we oughta change our Constitution because some people think (Illinois House Speaker) Mike Madigan’s been there too long,” Edgar said, “and then the other thing I realized is, even if we do this, we’re gonna have Mike Madigan for eight more years.”
If the proposed constitutional amendment is on the November ballot and is approved by voters, no service before January 2015 would count against the eight-year limit. Edgar believes Madigan would want to stay in the General Assembly until 2023, when Madigan would be 80 years old.
“I’m convinced if you pass this, he’ll stay for eight years just to spite everybody,” Edgar said.
Edgar said his preferred choice for reform is having an independent commission handle the drawing of legislative districts.