Butler calls for first constitutional convention in 50 years
Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) believes it's time to ask Illinoisans if they want the state to hold its first constitutional convention in five decades.
“Next year will represent a half century since Illinois' last Constitutional Convention was called and our State faces challenges today not envisioned by convention delegates 50 years ago,” Butler said in a statement. “I believe it is time the citizens of our State once again have the ability to provide their say on if they want to change our Constitution through a comprehensive convention.”
Butler has introduced House Joint Resolution 68 -- named for 1968, when the last convention was held -- citing what he described as Illinoisans' extreme discontent with the state’s budget crisis, as well as the fact that the General Assembly has dealt with 400 resolutions to amend the constitution since 2008.
If adopted, voters in the 2018 Illinois General Election would decide whether to call for a convention.
"2018 is the bicentennial of Illinois statehood,” Butler said in his statement. “Over our state's history, six Constitutional Conventions have been called, including on our 50th, 100th, and 150th anniversaries of statehood. As we put 200 years of statehood behind us, I can think of no better time to examine our state's governing document and enable a discussion about the constitutional solutions we need for moving this state forward into our third century.”