Voting on Constitutional Amendment on Pensions

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ILLINOIS (WIFR) -- Illinoisans are still dealing with a backlog of bills. A new analysis of the state's budget predicts just a modest reduction in our deficit. In the meantime, the civic federation says state officials haven't included enough money for the Medicaid program or for insurance claims from public employees and that could actually increase the deficit even more. Governor Quinn admits there's still a lot of work to be done, but adds that cutting pension expenses would help considerably.

That's the goal of a state constitutional amendment that will be on our ballots this November, which would allow voters to make it trickier for lawmakers to increase pensions. You may have gotten a blue handout in the mail on this topic. If approved, the general assembly will need 3/5 votes to approve bills that enhance pensions. Sponsors of the measure say the move will encourage lawmakers to think twice before taking any action that might boost the deficit. We spoke with state representative Joe Sosnowski who says this amendment could help legislators tackle rising pensions costs.

"That one component where we've lowered retirement ages in the past and increased benefits, that is one part of it, you don't want to fund the pension system and try to chip away at the problem and a couple years down the road add benefits that cost more money,” said Republican State Representative Sosnowski.

To get a better idea for how the amendment will be worded on our ballot, click on the document above.

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