The constitutional amendment that’s on the ballot may have unintended consequences, according to an expert on the Illinois Constitution. The amendment would require lawmakers to achieve a three-fifths vote in order to increase pension benefits. Ann Lousin, a law professor at the John Marshall School of Law and a research assistant to the constitutional convention of 1970, says the amendment is aimed at preventing special deals for political insiders, but it’ll affect all government workers.
“It’s sad because the three-fifths vote would also apply when they’re dealing with a large group of people like the teachers’ pension fund, which thousands of teachers are on, and the real problem of course is some of these little deals for special people,” she said.
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The super-majority also applies to local governments, and Lousin says they would be allowed by local law or ordinance to set an even higher standard in order to increase pension benefits.
Lousin, author of The Illinois Constitution: A Reference Guide, says the proposed amendment is lengthy and unclear.