A proposal on the November ballot appears to be an attempt to circumvent the Illinois Constitution as written:
- Amendment 49 on the November ballot in Illinois is cleverly drafted to concentrate more monetary power in the same Springfield legislative leaders who have de facto bankrupted the Illinois Treasury. With $83 billion in projected liabilities, Illinois has the nation’s largest state budget crisis.
Amendment 49 is crafted to strip local governments and voters of current decision-making prerogatives and transfer those decisions to Springfield.
Among other subterfuges, Amendment 49 overrules and destroys the Illinois Constitutional protection against eliminating or reducing earned benefits, such as pensions for state retirees who by state law cannot receive Social Security and, in many instances, cannot receive Medicaid.
This is where the big problem appears to be:
- For example, hidden in the “last sentence” is the new constitutional provision: “(d) Nothing in this Section shall prevent the passage or adoption of any law, ordinance, resolution, rule, policy or practice that further restricts the ability to provide a ‘benefit increase,’ ‘emolument increase,’ or ‘beneficial determination’ as those terms are used under this Section.”
Thus, Amendment 49 overrules the current Constitutional safeguard known as the “non-impairment provision” in Article XIII, sec. 5, of the Illinois Constitution.
This proposal appears to have a lot of baggage attached to it, a lot of unanswered questions, and needs to be studied quickly by the unions so the impact can be judged in time for the elections that are less than 40 days away. The fact that Madigan rushed this through is enough of a reason for us to vote against it - judge accordingly.