Capitol Fax: Umm… Huh?

Posted by Rich Miller

January 23, 2015

Legislation introduced Friday by state Rep. Jack D. Franks, D-Marengo, would place a referendum regarding limiting the terms of Illinois’ legislative leaders on the ballot of the next general election.

“The results of the recent elections demonstrate clearly that Illinois residents and taxpayers are fed up with the immovable status-quo in this state,” Franks said. “Placing term limits on legislative leaders is an idea that I hear regularly from constituents and they deserve the opportunity to make their voices heard directly and specifically on this issue.”

House Bill 257 creates the Legislative Leader Term Limit Referendum Act, which would ask a non-binding, advisory question of Illinoisans voting in the November 1, 2016 general election. Voters would have the opportunity to weigh in on whether the Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, the President of the Illinois Senate and both the House and Senate Minority Leaders should be term limited as leaders of the Illinois General Assembly’s two chambers.

“While our state grapples with numerous policy questions which will have implications that ripple long into the future, I believe this debate should be included,” Franks added. “The structures of government upon which we rely are clearly due for an overhaul and the wisdom of our constituents should be a valuable addition to the discussions.”

Rep. Franks, of course, voted for Speaker Madigan’s reelection last week.

* And remember Will Guzzardi? He thumped Rep. Toni Berrios last year in the Democratic primary with an anti-Springfield message. Here’s something I wrote about him last year

There’s no question that Democrat Will Guzzardi ran a highly effective outsider campaign against state Rep. Toni Berrios (D-Chicago) earlier this year. Guzzardi soundly defeated Rep. Berrios, the daughter of Cook County Democratic Party Chairman Joe Berrios, and along the way told the Chicago Tribune “The monolithic structures of power in Springfield aren’t doing any good for anyone.”

It’s not difficult to discern who he was talking about. The longest serving House Speaker in Illinois history is the very embodiment of a “monolithic structure of power.”

So, there have been some expectations that Guzzardi might not cast his vote for Michael Madigan’s reelection as Speaker next January, he said last week that he hasn’t yet made up his mind.

“That’s something I intend to figure out when the vote comes up,” Guzzardi said.

Well, he figured it out. Guzzardi also voted for Madigan, despite the fact that Madigan’s didn’t do any good for anyone.

Every House Democrat voted for Madigan except Rep. D’Amico, whose mom died last week, which kept him from attending the session.