Amendment to Illinois Constitution up for vote - – Rockford’s News Leader

Amendment to Illinois Constitution up for vote


On the November ballot Illinois voters will be asked to decide if the state Constitution requires an Amendment.

The proposed revision would require a three fifths majority vote before raising pensions for state employees. The current law only requires a simple majority.

"This makes it harder to increase pensions, I mean that's its whole purpose, to make it harder for governing bodies to increase pensions," said Bob Evans, Associate Professor at Rockford College.

Those against the proposed change say it will limit the power employees have to bargain with their employers.

Paul Goddard, Interim Vice President of the Rockford Education Association thinks it will also make it harder for public schools to attract the best employees. "The problem with that is that it would interfere with the school district's ability to compete in the marketplace for the best and the brightest."

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey on the other hand will vote 'yes' to the Amendment. He believes it will not solve all of the state's pension troubles, but calls it a step in the right direction. "If we want to keep a system around at all we need to re-examine them. We need to reform the existing benefit structure if we want to ensure there's any pension system at all available for public employees all over the state of Illinois."

Evans worries the Amendment will confuse voters on election day. Only a summarized piece of then 700 word proposal is included on the ballot.

"I think the voters are just going to have to decide which of those two arguments are more impressive to them," said Evans.

If the amendment passes in November the three fifths vote would apply to not only pensions, but also any additional benefits requested by

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