Voters across the state don’t agree on much, but when it comes to these two reform issues, demand is uniform statewide.
A new poll from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale said 84 percent of Illinois voters support term limits for state representatives and senators. Only 13 percent said they oppose term limits. Similarly, 85 percent supported term limits for leadership, such as Speaker of the House and Senate President.
Current House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) is the longest-tenured statehouse speaker in U.S. history, serving for all but two years since 1983. Term limits were often pushed by former Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, but the idea never gained significant traction in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.
Sixty-seven percent of voters polled also supported a constitutional amendment to have legislative district maps drawn by an independent commission, rather than the legislature. The Illinois Supreme Court has twice thrown such a question off the ballot on constitutional grounds.
Democrats in control of both houses of the General Assembly and the Governor’s Mansion are poised to redraw district lines following the 2020 Census.
Both ideas have significant support across party and geographic lines, the poll found. Slightly more Democrats (72 percent) support redistricting reform than Republicans (63 percent).
The poll of 1,000 voters was conducted March 11-17. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.