Illinois politicians retiring, resigning or not seeking re-elect - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Illinois politicians retiring, resigning or not seeking re-election

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CARBONDALE -- The list of Illinois politicians retiring, resigning or not seeking re-election continues to grow. 

At least a dozen spots in the Illinois General Assembly will change hands in the upcoming election. 13 legislators are choosing to give up their seats. Political analyst Linda Baker with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute said we may even see more.

“We could turnover almost half of the General Assembly in this election with the number of people not running on their own and then those incumbents that may actually not win their seats,” Baker said.

And with turnover like that, Jak Tichenor with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute said we'll be losing a lot of experience and expertise that takes years to develop. 

“A lot of those lawmakers are only in their first and second terms, so particularly on the Republican side, that's a huge loss in terms of institutional knowledge and the political culture of the capital,” Tichenor said. 

But Tichenor and Baker both agree: overall "party" power likely won't shift. In order to have majority, 60 seats are needed and right now, Democrats have 67, while Republicans only have 51. Republicans would have to gain nine seats and the experts said that may be a little too tough to pull off.

Either way, Illinois taxpayers need to pay extra close attention when next November rolls around, because changes are on the horizon. 

“We will have an opportunity for new leadership, for new ideas," Baker said. "I think its very important for people to get to those people early, as they are in campaign mode, and let them know what's important to them."

Both analysts said it's important to stay informed on these changes because the decisions made by the 177 elected officials in Springfield affect Illinoisans' day-to-day lives.  Those decisions include votes on tax increases, Medicaid reform and education funding, among others. 

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