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Andersson Files Bills to Promote Government Reform Initiatives

State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) recently filed his first bills. As a new member of the 99th General Assembly, Andersson’s bills are government reform initiatives that promote better government, improve the policies of local and state governments and work towards bringing Illinois back to its prime. Andersson’s government reform platform surrounds the following initiatives: creating term limits, a fair map amendment, anti-lobbying for legislators, ending legislative pensions and limiting the influence of money on elections. All the reforms are designed to create a legislature that is made of citizen legislators who stay for a limited period of time and then return to their homes and careers. It discourages persons who want to become time politicians. Specifically, the bills are as follows:

Term Limits: HJRCA28 proposes to amend the Legislature and Executive Articles of the Illinois Constitution. Andersson’s amendment would limit the time a legislator can serve to a maximum of 12 years, or a combination of those offices for more than 16 years. In addition, a person may not serve more than 2 terms within the Office of the Governor and cannot serve more than 3 terms within the same Executive Branch office. Andersson believes term limits are necessary in order to promote the very essence of legislating, to broaden the pool of those who want to serve and limit the power of those on the inside.

Redistricting: HJRCA27 proposes to amend the Legislature Article of the Illinois Constitution concerning redistricting. This amendment involves Representative Districts being decoupled from Legislative Districts, the appointment of a Temporary Redistricting Advisory Commission, new criteria for redistricting plans, and the approval of plans by Senate and House resolutions. Andersson’s amendment will create a fair map for the legislative districts and ensure that moving forward all re-districting is a standard effective process.

Ethics-Legislator Lobbying Ban: HB 3106 amends the Illinois Governmental Ethics Act. Prohibits a former legislator, during the 2-year period immediately after the termination of his or her term of office, from: (1) engaging in lobbying, if he or she accepts compensation specifically attributable to such lobbying; or (2) accepting employment with a lobbying entity. This amendment further provides that the restrictions imposed do not apply to a former legislator from lobbying without compensation, but also contains a penalty provision for violating this lobbying restriction.

Election Code- Limiting the influence of money on elections: HB 3107 amends the election code to move the date of the primary to July (from March). Andersson finds that doing so "shortens the election cycle which reduces the amount of time (and therefore money) that can be spent influencing elections by special interests. Additionally it allows elected officials to spend more time legislating (i.e. their job) and less time campaigning for the next election cycle."

Pension Code: HB2747 amends the General Assembly Article of the Illinois Pension Code, and restricts participation in the General Assembly Retirement System by members of the General Assembly to persons who become participants before January 1, 2016 and provides that, beginning on that date, the System shall not accept any new participants who are members of the General Assembly. As a newly elected Representative to the 99th General Assembly, Andersson denied his pension, keeping his campaign promise to constituents.

Representative Andersson is looking forward to moving this legislation in the 99th General Assembly and creating more efficient government processes for the State of Illinois.


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