A new proposal aimed at giving voters in Illinois more power to remove corrupt officials is in the works.
A pair of Republican state legislators are proposing a new recall system, citing the ongoing revelations of corruption surrounding Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan.
53rd District Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington, and 97th District Representative Mark Batinick of Plainfield who announced the proposal today, say they are in the process of filing three pieces of legislation to institute a recall system for elected officials that includes the Speaker of the House, Senate President and Auditor General.
Currently Illinois law permits possible recall of a sitting Governor in a complicated manner which does not allow for it to be lead by citizens. Barickman says the public in both districts are clamoring for a change in the process.
“Our constituents are reaching out to us continuously and saying we need to do more to root out the corruption that exists around this state. The reality is the public has little ability to remove a corrupt public official.”
The legislation proposed by Senator Barickman and Representative Batinick includes three constitutional amendments including one for recalling the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller and Treasurer; as well as Speaker of the House, Senate President and Auditor General, requiring signatures from 12% of the votes cast for Governor in the preceding election.
The second would allow for recall of members of the General Assembly, with the 12% requirement of votes cast for the Governor in the targeted district. And the third would allow for the recall of local government officials using a tiered system requiring 30% in jurisdictions with 1,000 or less voters, ranging down to 10% required in jurisdictions with more than 100,000.
Batinick says the new proposal would help turn the tide of years of corruption in Illinois politics.
“There is currently no citizen lead process to recall in Illinois. As a result, our state has suffered under corrupt leadership for far too long. Decades of corruption have been covered up and these proposals will provide a clear path to correct the wrongdoings and give power back to the people of Illinois.”
Under all three constitutional amendments, if recalled, both non-elected officers and other public officials are ineligible to return to the position for a period of 10 years after the recall vote has been certified, and requires a 60% threshold to recall someone from office.
If enacted, the new legislation would allow Illinois to join 18 other states who have similar citizen lead recall provisions in their state constitutions.