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The in box. League of Women Voters. No on the Illinois Constitutional Amendment.

October 11, 2012

The League of Women Voters of Illinois (LWVIL) Opposes HJRCA 49

The Constitutional Amendment Referendum on the November 6 Ballot

 After reviewing the General Assembly’s proposal, relevant League positions and precedents, and researching supporting documentation, League of Women Voters of Illinois Board of Directors has decided to oppose HJRCA 49, the Constitutional Amendment referendum proposal that will be on the November 6, 2012 ballot.

 The Amendment Proposal

The measure would amend the General Provisions Article of the Illinois Constitution requiring a three-fifths majority vote of each chamber of the General Assembly, or the governing body of a unit of local government, school district, or pension or retirement system, in order to increase a benefit under any public pension or retirement system. The full text is available here.

 Rationale for Opposition

Our objection is squarely focused on the proposal’s 3/5 majority vote requirement, not on pension reform issues. We are acting under our Representative Government position to

Promote an open governmental system that is representative, accountable and responsive.

 The Illinois League has a strong record supporting measures to make our democracy more, not less, representative. Our interest in and experience with constitutional amendments are extensive, including detailed study and active participation in the 1970 Constitutional Convention where we strenuously advocated for simple majority votes on constitutional matters.

 As an organization that has been active in the legislative process, we have witnessed first hand what the Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure confirms:

 Some people mistakenly assume that the higher the vote required to take an action, the greater the protection of the members. Instead the opposite is true. Whenever a vote of more than a majority is required to take action, control is taken from the majority and given to a minority.

 The Illinois Constitution is not the place for a provision that is this specific to a single issue and to one remedy for a larger problem. If the legislature determines this needs to be done, a statute which can be modified more easily is the appropriate course to take.

 

League of Women Voters of Illinois

332 South Michigan Avenue • Suite 525

Chicago, Illinois 60604

312.939.5935

 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Maria Owens permalink
    October 12, 2012 8:51 am

    Fred, The League of Women Voters Wheaton is sponsoring a panel discussion on pensions with questions from the audience. The panel consists of Dick Ingram, Darlene Senger, and Amanda Kass from The Center for Budget & Tax Accountability (Ralph Martire). Do you think Ingram will show up? It’s scheduled for Oct. 18 @7:00 at the Wheaton Park District Building on South Blanchard. mo

    From: Fred Klonsky Reply-To: Fred Klonsky Date: Thursday, October 11, 2012 4:27 PM To: Maria Owens Subject: [New post] The in box. League of Women Voters. No on the Illinois Constitutional Amendment.

    WordPress.com Fred Klonsky posted: “The League of Women Voters of Illinois (LWVIL) Opposes HJRCA 49 The Constitutional Amendment Referendum on the November 6 Ballot After reviewing the General Assemblys proposal, relevant League positions and precedents, and researching supportin”

    • Fred Klonsky permalink*
      October 12, 2012 9:19 am

      Ingram has cancelled all appearances prior to the TRS board of trustees meeting on October 24th. Or so I’ve been told.

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