Senator Wilcox Co-Sponsors Voter Empowerment Bills

“For decades the majority party has strengthened its grip on state government and all who live and work here, and Illinoisans have been left with few options to fight back,” said Sen. Wilcox. “The Voter Empowerment Package provides voters with valuable tools that will strengthen the voices of those who want transparent and ethical government, and laws that help rather than hurt our state.”

SJRCA 1 / HJRCA 5 amends the Illinois Constitution to allow Illinois voters to make more substantive changes to their constitution. The Illinois Constitution currently limits citizen-initiative amendments to specified structural and procedural subjects. This amendment would put voters in the driver’s seat, allowing them to circulate petitions for and vote on constitutional amendments on key issues that are important to their lives, such as redistricting and pensions.

SJRCA 2 / HJRCA 6 amends the Illinois Constitution to permit citizens the ability to initiate up-or-down referendums on newly passed laws. By giving citizens the right to veto unpopular or rushed legislation, the amendment would allow voters a form of popular redress to political overreach and unwanted mandates.

Nearly half the states in the U.S. permit its citizens to ratify or veto bills passed by its legislature. Under the proposal, citizens would have 90 days to  collect signatures equal to five percent of the votes cast in the last gubernatorial election to force a voter referendum on a piece of unpopular legislation.

SJRCA 3 / HJRCA 4 amends the Illinois Constitution to allow voters to recall more elected officials, including members of the General Assembly and local government officials. The amendment broadens and strengthens recall options and removes the requirement that a certain number of partisan elected officials must approve the recall.

Recall petitions would be required to meet a signature threshold prior to the holding of a recall election. In order to recall an elected official, 60 percent or more of the voters would have to vote in favor of the recall.

“These changes offer solid solutions to address the undeniable damage that has been caused in Illinois by entrenched politicians,” added Sen. Wilcox. “By providing residents with an opportunity to hold elected officials and others who hold concentrated powers more accountable, voters can help end corruption and chart a brighter future for our state.”

Click here to learn more about the amendments.

Craig Wilcox

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