The Illinois Constitution

The Illinois Constitution requires that any amendment to the Illinois Constitution proposed by the General Assembly to be published, along with explanations, at least one month proceeding an election where the voters will cast ballots on the question.

A pamphlet, published by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White, hit mail boxes this week.  The blue pamphlet, which is the same color that Illinois law requires the amendment’s separate ballot to be, includes the language of the proposed amendment; the explanation of the amendment; the form of the ballot question and both pros and cons of the issue.

On Election Day, you will receive the separate blue ballot with the proposal to amend Article XIII of the Illinois Constitution, which contains the general provisions.

The proposal adds a Section 5.1 in the “Pension and Retirement Rights” provisions to require a 3/5 majority vote of each chamber of the General Assembly, the governing body of a unit of local government, school district, or pension or retirement system, to increase a benefit under any public pension or retirement system. The proposed amendment also would require a 2/3 vote for lawmakers to override a governor’s veto or to accept a governor’s changes in a rewrite of pension increase legislation.

You have the option of voting YES or NO on the question of whether this new Section 5.1 should be added to Article XIII of the Illinois Constitution. A proposed amendment becomes effective if approved by EITHER 3/5 of those voting on the question or a majority of those voting in the election.

Voter informational materials are available online in English, Chinese, Polish, Hindi and Spanish: