Constitutional Amendment 49 follows the logic of the Big Bird Rule.
Seven hundred words.
That’s about how long Constitutional Amendment 49 is that will be on the ballot November 6th.
But if passed, those words may supersede the words in Article XIII, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution which contains the clause prohibiting state pension benefits from being diminished or impaired.
If passed, a local body could reduce or eliminate what had formerly been a constitutionally protected benefit with a simple majority vote. But an increase to a benefit would require a super majority.
Democratic Party Boss Michael Madigan made sure the bill was wordy and confusing, the better to give all but the few members of the Illinois General Assembly who voted no, wiggle room to explain their vote to put it on the ballot.
At 700 words it is longer than the Bill of Rights.
Constitutional Amendment 49 allows the politicians in this state to continue to follow the Big Bird Rule.
Just as Mitt Romney proposed killing Big Bird in order to stop what he calls too much federal spending, the political leaders in this state continue to argue that modest pension benefits rather than insufficient revenue is the root of the pension problem.
Pension benefits have no more to do with the underfunding of state pensions and the debt the state owes than Big Bird has to the operation of the federal government.
Make sure you and everyone you know in Illinois is voting NO on Constitutional Amendment 49.