Lewis Tackles Local Term Limits

Certain units of local government would be required to consider imposing term limits on their leadership under new legislation introduced by State Representative Seth Lewis (R-Bartlett). While the legislation doesn’t require term limits, it does ensure that this critical conversation is held at the local level.

“Time and time again, the people of this state – from all ends of the political spectrum – have voiced their support for term limits,” said Lewis. “My legislation would jump-start this important conversation among our units of local government.”

House Bill 2496 (HB 2496) would create the Local Government Term Limit Review Act. Under the act, units of government, including school districts, park districts, library districts, and fire districts that have leadership selected by the board, would be required to consider them. Governmental units would have to, by verbal or written vote, ordinance, or resolution or by referendum of the electors of the governmental unit, decide whether to impose term limits for the chairpersons, presidents, or executives of their governing bodies.

Under Lewis’s legislation, the outcome of these discussions about term limits and any votes taken would be part of the public record, meaning the public would be able to see how their elected representatives voted on such a consequential matter. The legislation would not apply to governmental leadership directly elected by the people.

“Mike Madigan wasn’t Speaker of the House for decades because voters elected him to that position. He was speaker because legislators did.” Lewis noted. “Requiring local governments to consider term limits on leadership, and making the outcome of those deliberations available to the public, adds an additional layer of public scrutiny for the people making these decisions. When decisions like this are made transparently, the chances that term limits are imposed greatly increase – which is good for the people of Illinois.”    

Lewis’s legislation is currently assigned to the House Ethics & Elections Committee, which is scheduled to meet on March 15. 

Seth Lewis represents the 45th House District which includes all or portions of Addison, Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Hanover Park, Itasca, Roselle, West Chicago, and Wood Dale in DuPage and Cook Counties. Constituents with questions, feedback on pending legislative issues, or who need help with state programs are encouraged to call Representative Lewis’s office at (630) 349-0645.