JOLIET - Frustrated with the failure of the Term Limits amendment to get on the November ballot, Republican candidate for State House Mark Batinick called once again for a "People's Amendment" that would make it easier to place citizen initiatives on statewide ballots.
"The 'People’s Amendment' is simply stated and amounts to some simple changes to the Illinois Constitution that would allow citizens to actually share power equally with the politicians," Batinick said in a statement issued Monday.
He proposed the General Assembly place on the ballot the following changes to the state constitution:
1. Remove the sentence "Amendments shall be limited to structural and procedural subjects contained in Article IV." This allows the citizens to initiate change in any area of the constitution. Specifically the phrase "structural and procedural" has been used to remove previous amendment attempts that appeared to have met all requirements.
2. Lower the signature requirement from 8% of the previous Governor's election to 5%. The current requirement is much too onerous.
3. Require a strict super-majority to pass an amendment. The State Constitution should not be changed easily
"The People’s Amendment provides many benefits including an increase in citizen involvement, disentangles policy issues with partisan politics, allows for a more thorough debate over complex issues, and will probably lead to actual solutions to problems rather than watching politicians kick the can down the road," Batinick said.
"If elected to the office of State Representative of the 97th District, the People’s Amendment will be at the top of my agenda," he said.
Two Constitutional Amendments are on the November 2014 ballot - both placed on the ballot by a three-fifths vote of both Illinois chambers. Two other citizen-initiated constitutional amendments were rejected: one for lack of valid signatures and the other because an Illinois Appellate Court ruled it unconstitutional and the Illinois Supreme Court let the Appellate Court decision stand.