Syverson cosponsors reforms to give voters more power in democratic process

SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley) is the cosponsor of Constitutional reform legislation unveiled Jan. 18 that would allow Illinois voters a more active role in their democratic process.

“I believe in giving the people of Illinois back their voice — a voice that too often has been ignored as a result of decades of legislative corruption and mismanagement,” Syverson said. “The power to effect changes in our state government should be in the hands of the people, not in the hands of the political elite.”

The 35th District Senator said the Voter Empowerment Project includes four Senate Joint Resolution-Constitutional Amendments:

SJRCA 13: Requires an independent redistricting commission, where the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court and the most senior Supreme Court justice of the opposite party would jointly select 17 commissioners to serve on the commission. The commission would be comprised of seven individuals representing the Democratic Party, seven individuals representing the Republican Party, and three independent commissioners. The first redistricting process would occur in 2023 and then after every subsequent federal decennial census.

SJRCA 14: Allows 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 many key issues such as taxation, redistricting, and other important constitutional provisions.

SJRCA 15: Permits 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.

SJRCA 16: Allows voters to recall elected officials including any executive branch officer, the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, the Auditor General, members of the General Assembly, and local government officials. Currently, only the Governor is subject to recall.

“This package of reforms gives Illinoisans the tools they need to take back their government,” Syverson said. “It provides the needed checks and balances that have been lost in Illinois.”

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