CHICAGO (AP) -- Illinois voters are getting at least
somewhat of a say in the state's mess over public pensions.
A constitutional amendment on the ballot Tuesday would require a
three-fifths majority vote of lawmakers in Springfield before retirement benefits for
public employees are enhanced.
The state's five pension systems are underfunded by $85 billion.
Critics say requiring an extraordinary majority vote on future increases
would be meaningless. Pension "sweeteners" are typically approved by
overwhelming majorities and account for only 9 percent of the growth in the
pension deficit in the past 15 years.
The change also would apply to local governments such as city councils
and school boards.
The amendment could be approved with
"yes" votes from three-fifths of those voting on it or by a majority
of everyone voting Tuesday overall.