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Constitutional amendment on ballot
Illinois voters will determine the fate of a proposed amendment to the state Constitution in November.
Compiled by staff
Published: Sep 18, 2012
The proposed amendment would require a three-fifths voter approval, or a super majority, to allow the enhancement of pensions by any government body, according to Kevin Semlow, Illinois Farm Bureau director of state legislation. Currently, IFB does not have a position on the measure.
The Illinois General Assembly voted to put the proposal before voters before legislators adjourned the spring legislative session.
If approved by voters, the super-majority requirement would apply to the General Assembly and all local units of government and school districts.
The proposal specifically defines pension enhancements as adding to employees’ base pay with time off, bonuses, incentives, or other compensation. Salary or wage increases would not require the three-fifths approval.
State law requires every Illinois mailing address to receive a summary of the proposed amendment with pro and con information.
Approval of the proposed amendment will require a favorable vote by three-fifths of voters who cast a vote on the proposed amendment or a majority of those who vote in the election.
Illinois voters have approved few constitutional amendments, Semlow noted.
Since the 1970 Constitution became effective, more than 900 amendments have been proposed in the state legislature. Of those, only 16 were put on the ballot by lawmakers. A voter initiative put one proposal on the ballot.
Of the 17 proposed amendments put before voters, only 10 were ratified, according to Semlow.
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