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Author : Ralyn
Article ID : 6
Audience : Default
Version 1.00
Published Date: 2010/7/30 21:34:44
Reads : 798

Illinois House approves recall resolution to remove officeholders
Originally Posted Online: May 30, 2009, 9:39 pm Last Updated: May 31, 2009, 9:08 am

SPRINGFIELD — The House passed a resolution Saturday that will give voters the chance to write recall powers into the state's constitution next year.

Gov. Patrick Quinn was on the House floor for the vote on the bill, which passed 109-6, and testified on behalf of the measure before a House committee earlier in the week.

Quinn told the committee 18 states have recall provisions that allow voters to remove elected officials from office but it's only been used twice on sitting governors — once in 1923 in North Dakota and again in 2003 in California.

Because recall would have to be written into the Illinois Constitution, voters would need to approve an amendment in the 2010 election. The amendment would need approval from half of all voters who voted in the election or 60 percent of those who vote on the amendment question.
Though the issue wasn't recommended by the governor's reform commission or the legislative reform committee, Quinn said it was his idea to move the measure forward in the final days of the legislative session.

Quinn was a major proponent of a similar measure last year, but former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's allies in the Senate killed it after gaining approval in the House.

The version lawmakers are considering only would apply to the governor, though members of the House committee that approved the measure questioned why other statewide officeholders wouldn't be subject to recall.

"I wish it would've included more like the bill we did last year, but … at least to get it forward on the recall of the highest office in this state, it's certainly something we need to do," state Rep. Lisa Dugan, D-Bradley, said.

If voters approve the amendment to the state's Constitution, those pushing a recall of a sitting governor would have 150 days to collect hundreds of thousands of signatures spread out over 25 counties and also the signatures of 30 legislators.

Quinn said that requiring some legislators in the process would make Illinois' version of recall unique. Twenty House members and ten Senators would need to sign on to any recall effort.

"Certainly if the governor wants it, and it targets the governor, I don't think that's so bad," state Rep. Pat Verschoore, D-Milan, said.

After the required signatures are collected to kick off an effort, the state board of elections would hold an election asking voters if they want to recall the governor.

If voters answer "yes" when asked to recall the governor, they then would vote on the same ballot for a primary candidate.

If the governor is recalled, the winners of the primary would run against each other to replace the governor. The lieutenant governor would replace the governor until the election of a new governor.

Read full article: QC Online

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