William Kelly has withdrawn from the race for governor. He announced on his radio program this afternoon that he was endorsing State Senator Sam McCann (R 50). McCann announced his independent bid for governor in April.
Kelly has been a very vocal critic of current Governor Bruce Rauner since Rauner ran for office in 2014. In addition to calling for Rauner’s defeat, Kelly also spoke out against other Republicans including Jeanne Ives who challenges Rauner in the Republican primary. He blamed Ives for keeping him out of that race, despite having previously taken money from Rauner. McCann has also had very public conflicts with the governor during his time as a state senator.
The filing window for independent candidates to get on the ballot opens June 18th. McCann is one of several independents currently petitioning for ballot access. To learn more about McCann and the other candidates for governor, check out our Campaign Headquarters page.
Local Republicans take “People’s Pledge” for term limits
Should there be limits on how long someone can serve in office? For the Republicans the answer is a strong yes. The “People’s Pledge” lays out a commitment to limiting individuals to eight years in an executive office, and ten years in the General Assembly. Those who sign the pledge say they will work to get the question on a ballot for the voters to decide. Today, Rep. Tim Butler (R-87), along with local candidates Mike Murphy, Herman Senor, and Steve McClure all signed the pledge with Governor Rauner.
This is not the first effort to get term limits on the ballot. In 2014, Rauner led a petition effort to get the term limit question on the ballot. Despite getting a substantial number of signatures, this effort was struck down by the courts. They ruled the proposed changes had to originate in the General Assembly.
Term limits are designed to create turnover in government. For supporters, this is a good thing because it brings in new people. Opponents agree it creates turnover, but point out no other industry seeks out employee turnover. However, the primary motivation in Illinois for term limits is Speaker Mike Madigan.
Madigan has dominated the Illinois House for decades. Rauner, who is a vocal opponent of Madigan, said that such a long tenure has led to corruption and other issues. The second half of the People’s Pledge is a vow to support anyone but Madigan for Speaker. The Republicans said they would like to retake the House and have a Republican Speaker, but they are willing to back any other Democrat that runs for Speaker.
You can watch the full remarks below, or the local candidate’s in the player above.
Rep. Jimenez’s Legislation to Move State Jobs Back to the Capital City Signed into Law
State Representative Sara Wojcicki Jimenez’s push to return state jobs to the capital city today culminated in the signing of a new law mandating that Sangamon County be the default location for state positions in agencies under the Governor. House Bill 4295 directs state agencies to set a geographic location for each job, and if there isn’t a geographic necessity for the state job, then it should be located in Sangamon County.
“For all of my time as state representative, I have made it a priority to push State agencies to identify positions within State government that can and should be located in Sangamon County. A recent report identified hundreds of jobs that could potentially be relocated to the capital city. By making Sangamon County the default location for state jobs in state law, it sends a clear signal that state jobs should be in the capital city, unless they need to be located somewhere else in the state to best serve our residents,” said State Representative Jimenez (R-Leland Grove), the legislation’s chief sponsor.
Rep. Jimenez previously spearheaded passage of a resolution urging agencies under the Governor to compile a report listing the number of state employees in each county, including justification for the location. The report released indicates the potential for nearly 400 jobs to move back to the capital city. The new preference contained in House Bill 4295 takes the next step in the process, requiring the Director of Central Management Services to relocate to Sangamon County all State employment positions under the Personnel Code that are not required by their nature or function to be located in another area. It also requires that all new positions created be located in the Capitol City unless required to be located in another specific location.
The relocation provisions will apply to currently vacant positions and as they become vacant in the future.
“The home of Illinois’ state government should also be home base for as many state government employees as possible. That will help streamline the process of providing services and also save taxpayer dollars in the long run – two improvements we need now more than ever,” Representative Jimenez said.
For more information and detail about this bill, previous efforts and the report from 2016, visit www.repsara.com.
New automatic voter registration law won’t slow efforts to reach out to potential new voters face-to-face
A new automatic voter registration law in Illinois won’t slow efforts to reach out to potential new voters in an old-fashioned way.
Sharon Alter is vice president of voter services and co-chair of voter service with the League of Women Voters of Illinois. She says in-person, face-to-face registration always will have a place of importance.
“People still like the personal contact,” Alter said. “And that contact is important not just with prospective older voters, but also prospective younger voters. During the course of the in-person voter registration, some voting questions can come up, so there’s an education process, especially for a first-time voter.”
The League of Women Voters of Illinois is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy.
Portions of the automatic voter registration law have begun to roll out. Earlier this month, Illinois’ Department of Motor Vehicle employees began to check for a customer’s voter registration online and allow citizens to sign-up if they wish to “opt-in”. Eventually, any eligible resident interacting with the DMV automatically will be registered to vote.
“The League of Women Voters Illinois is part of a coalition that supported the passage of this legislation,” Alter said. “Obviously, what all of us have to do is an education campaign. And that education campaign for voters about the process and the alternative here is just beginning.”
Illinois previously opened up online and same-day registration as part of a sweeping change to election laws in 2014. Alter says that didn’t really slow the demand for in-person sign-ups.
“When online voter registration started, as lot of people thought in-person voter registration would die out, but it really hasn’t,” Alter said. “And I would say at least for a while, even with automatic voter registration, in-person voter registration will still continue.”
Alter says she’s noticed a recent increase in voting interest across the board, but particularly among younger citizens.
“There’s an undercurrent of activism and interest and that’s across the board in ages, but particularly among younger voters,” Alter said. “A number of organizations have increased their membership, certainly since the November 2016 election, including the League of Women Voters.
Meanwhile, as part of the state’s membership in a national voter database, Illinois is required to try to reach people who are eligible to vote but who aren’t registered.
That means the state soon will spend $240,000 to send letters to unregistered voters.
Article by Scot Bertram, for more news visit ILnews.org
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