SPRINGFIELD – May 28, 2009. Governor Pat Quinn is backing a proposed constitutional amendment empowering the people of Illinois to recall a governor. The Governor stressed his support in testimony before a House committee, which unanimously approved the measure and passed it to the full House for a vote.
“We need governors to be accountable to the public, not just on Election Day, but every day of their term,” said Governor Quinn. “Approving recall is the very best way to say that reform is alive and well in Illinois.”
The Illinois House State Government Administration Committee unanimously passed House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 31, sponsored by Representative Jack D. Franks, who also testified in favor of the recall bill.
Under the proposed constitutional amendment, an effort to recall a governor would require signatures equal to fifteen percent of the previous vote total for that office.
For example, based on turnout in the 2006 election, over 500,000 signatures would need to be collected within 150 days to put a gubernatorial recall on the ballot. Once on the ballot, a majority of voters would be required to vote in favor before the governor can be recalled.
At present, 18 states permit the recall of state officials. Governor Quinn has been a long time advocate for recall in Illinois.
Reforming state government is a top priority of the Quinn Administration. In the final days of the legislative session, Governor Quinn is working with the General Assembly on reform measures that will take politics out of state purchasing, overhaul the Freedom of Information Act, increase oversight and regulation of lobbyists, and cap campaign contributions.
In his first official act, Governor Quinn established the Illinois Reform Commission, an independent advisory board that recently provided the governor a report that serves as a blueprint for widespread state government ethics reforms.
“Making recall the Law of the Land is a crucial step in right direction but more must be accomplished,” said Governor Quinn. “I want to thank Speaker Mike Madigan, President John Cullerton, House Minority Leader Tom Cross and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno for their help in getting reform measures passed in Illinois.”