What Does the Illinois Constitution Do for the State?

It's not easy to change the Illinois Constitution, nor should it be. The framers in 1970 made sure of that.

So voters should not take lightly two amendments on the Nov. 4 ballot that, at first glance, seem like no brainers: One is an amendment to protect voters' rights and the other establishes rights for crime victims.

Madeleine Doubek shared her thoughts on the Illinois constitution:

I have a confession to make. I've never paid all that much attention to the Illinois constitution until recently. You either? Imagine that.

Lately, though, I'm coming to appreciate more and more what a significant document it is and what problems it can cause, or solutions it can block.

Consider if you will, the clause in the state constitution that says, "Membership in any pension or retirement system of the State, any unit of local government or school district, or any agency or instrumentality thereof, shall be an enforceable contractual relationship, the benefits of which shall not be diminished or impaired."

That clause added at the last constitutional convention in 1970 is making it extremely difficult for Illinoisans to figure out a way to provide retirement income for public workers while not taxing all of us out of our homes as we stare down our worst-in-the-nation $100 billion pension debt.

Read the rest of Doubek's thoughts at Reboot Illinois.

Questions about changing the Illinois constitution played an important part in the gubernatorial election this summer, and the topic made a comeback Oct. 21 at the candidates' third and final debate. Republican Bruce Rauner knocked Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn on his opposition to adding language that would impose legislative term limits into the state constitution. The panelists and the candidates themselves challenged each other on evading questions and avoiding critical issues. Check out the highlights at Reboot Illinois.