WIUM Tristates Public Radio

No Shortage of Critics for Illinois Constitutional Amendment

Oct 23, 2012

Illinois legislators overwhelmingly backed a constitutional amendment, saying it will prevent the state's massive pension deficit from growing by making it more difficult for lawmakers to increase public employees’ pensions.

But critics are coming at it from all sides.

The League of Women Voters says the constitution's not the place to deal with such a specific issue.  Unions are fighting it and say it'll lead to gridlock when municipal governments try to do contracts. A lawsuit argues the wording is deceptive. A University of Illinois professor alleges the phrasing could overrule a constitutional guarantee protecting pensions.

In addition, the Illinois Policy Institute's Kristina Rasmussen said, "Constitutional Amendment 49 is a classic case of fake reform."

Both backers and opponents agree the amendment does nothing to address the $83 billion pension deficit.

But supporters say it'll prevent that number from growing higher in the future.

Voters will have the final say. The measure is the first item on ballots across Illinois for the November 6 election.

Thanks to Illinois Public Radio