WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Voters to Decide Recall Proposal

Springfield, IL – The State of Illinois is one step away from allowing recall of governors who are corrupt or doing a poor job.

The state legislature signed off on the constitutional change on October 15. The proposal will now go before voters in November 2010.

The measure won't affect Governor Pat Quinn in his current term. However he says it will make governors more accountable to the public.

"We've had serious problems with my two predecessors, George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich," says Quinn. "I think this is a fundamental part of democracy. Voters should not be subjected to having to wait years and years to the next election to review their performance."

But Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) warns this change in the Constitution could make governors less likely to take a stand on controversial issues.

"I often think we do things or fail to do things because we are afraid of the shadow of our next election. But when you put something like this in there, that shadow is upon you at all times," says Raoul.

Other critics complain the proposal is too narrow because it leaves out state lawmakers and others elected to office.

Even if voters adopt recall, it would be tough to actually remove a sitting governor. Hundreds of thousands of petition signatures, as well as some legislative support, would be needed to get a recall effort underway.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio