early voting starts Monday, recommend "no" vote on amending Illinois Constitution

[In this blog entry, I speak for myself, not the official position of Northside DFA]

Illinois' early voting starts Monday, October 22. For Chicago voters there will be various questions on the ballot. The first will be whether to amend the Illinois Constitution to require pension improvements require a 3/5 vote of the Illinois General Assembly.

The Chicago Teachers Union has explained why its members should vote "no".

For me, the argument is simple. The source of Illinois' pension mess is that the Illinois General Assembly diverted money that should have gone to the pensions to other spending priorities so the politicians wouldn't have to cut services or raises taxes.

The amendment neither fixes the current mess nor does it prevent the politicians from creating the same mess again.

In fact, it's deeply offensive that the very people who created the pension mess are attempting to get the public to take out their frustration on public employees rather than on the members of the Illinois General Assembly--the people who created the mess by shirking their duty.

Comments

green energy group recommends "yes"

on electrical aggregation. See Chicago Clean Power Coalition, which is a group of legit activists, not an energy industry front group.

Supermajority

Is what it comes down to every year over the budget negotiations when the GA goes into extra sessions. Its so The Speaker can blame the bad budget on needing Republican votes. Seems like a dreadful idea.

"If you plant ice you're gonna harvest wind." -- Robert Hunter

California has experimented with requiring supermajorities

And the result has been that state government has become ungovernable.

This amendment is a little different.

But what happens if the governor and a major labor union reach an agreement that includes fixes to the state pension scheme, including improvements to the pensions of younger workers (who are currently getting a less generous pension)?

Will a minority of legislators be able to stop the contract from going into effect? Will they only be able to block the part of the pension scheme that makes younger workers whole?

Does this mean the union has to go on strike, no against the governor, but against the minority party in the state legislature?

The U.S. Senate gives the minority veto power

on matters of public policy.

How's that working out?

Is it fair to expect that gains at the negotiating table...

have to be ratified by a supermajority of the Illinois General Assembly?

This would seem to make the negotiating process a one-way street.