Voters to decide on tougher rules for pension increases

May 4, 2012

A constitutional amendment for Illinois will appear on the November ballot. The proposed change has to do with increasing pension benefits for public workers.

The plan, which cleared the General Assembly Thursday, is being pushed by House Speaker Michael Madigan. It aims to make it tougher for governmental bodies to approve increases in retirement benefits.  Instead of a simple majority, state and local governments, along with school boards, would need a three-fifths majority to approve any such increases.  Union leaders oppose the measure.  They say the state’s current pension problems aren’t the result of overly generous benefits.  They point to chronic under-funding by state lawmakers as the cause.