New “Vote No” Signs Appear

There are red and white “Vote No on the County Executive Referendum” signs appearing through McHenry County, but yesterday I noticed one that is red and yellow with a big “Vote No” message on it.

This “Vote No” sign is opposed to the Constitutional Amendment concerning pensions. It was paid for by the State Universities Annuitants Association 49 Ballot Committee.

The amendment has been scathingly opposed by the Chicago Tribune Editorial Board because it does virtually nothing.

It increases the majority required to pass a pension bill in the Illinois General Assembly from 50%, plus one, to 60%.

I was on the losing end of many, many pension votes in my sixteen years in Springfield.

I can’t remember any of the roll calls being close.

Most pension increase bills passed overwhelmingly.

My “No” votes were pretty lonely.

So, increasing the majority to 60% would be merely a cosmetic change.

But, obviously the pension annuitants who paid for the sign you see think the proposed Constitutional Amendment does something that will hurt them.

In my time in Springfield, I never heard of the group, so whoever decided on the signs probably isn’t familiar with the lopsidedness of the votes.

A person who talked to me about the ballot question told me, “If Mike Madigan is in favor of it, I’m voting against it.”

My approach to votes in Springfield was, “When in doubt, vote ‘No.'”


New “Vote No” Signs Appear — 7 Comments

  1. Cal great work…

    Other particulars about this proposed Amendment:

    Illinois Constitutional Amendment Proposal.

    Mike Madigan is behind this amendment proposal.

    Therefore, don’t be fooled, this should be rejected.

    The amendment concentrates more monetary power to the same people who bankrupted us.

    Strips local governments & voters of decision making prerogatives & transfers those decisions to Springfield.

  2. I was wondering what that was, I got the amendment thing in the mail though from the state.

    Might do an article on it 🙂

  3. It’s a rare day that pits Michael Madigan against public sector unions. It’s even rarer when the Chicago Tribune and Illinois Policy Institute agree with public sector unions about pension benefits and both are against Michael Madigan.

    This amendment may not the be end all and be all, but it certainly seems like a step in the right direction. What is the real story behind Madigan’s logic with the constitutional amendment? One can only speculate but consider this.

    While it is important to look at past history, we also need to look at what the future holds. In the future pension legislation voting will likely have margins of victory that are not so lopsided, because now due to the States wretched financial condition there is more scrutiny over pension legislation.

    There are four legs to the stool to rectify the pension mess.

    1. Federal Obama bailout in exchange for voting him into office in 2012.
    2. Reduce pension benefits through legislation in the Illinois General Assembly.
    3. Higher taxes and fees at the state and local level.
    4. Limit salary increases through collective bargaining (public sector unions) and through negotiation (administration and management not covered by collective bargaining).

    You don’t need a four legged stool, you don’t need an Obama bailout. But if he’s elected, do you really think the public sector unions won’t play that card?

    You would think it’s evil to reduce benefits. However, the benefit levels have been changed. They’ve been increased through state legislation time after time after time after time after time. How many times? 38 of 40 years from 1971 – 2011. What happened in 1970? The pension protection clause was added to the Illinois State Constitution at the 1970 Constitutional Convention. The benefit levels in 2012 are drastically different than the benefit levels in 1970. Some benefit levels were changed for new employees, but not enough to solve the problem, existing employees and even those receiving a pension need to be addressed unless you want ever higher taxes, reduced benefits, or kicking the can down the road.
    There are a few garden hoses trying to put out the forest fire.

    One person advocating for passage of the constitutional amendment is Ty Fahner, former Illinois Attorney General (1980-83) and current president of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago.

    Report of the State Budget Crisis Task Force – Illinois Report.

  4. You’re talking about changing something to require more votes to get pension increases and you oppose it??

    Am I misinterpreting you guys?

    Are you saying if Micheal Madigan came out and said he’d lower taxes you would vote against that because Micheal Madigan?

    Get your head out of your partisan asses.

    Complain about pensions. People propose something that at least theoretically helps reign in some costs.

    Oppose it.

    You should be in favor of anything that helps out in any way possible, no matter how small.

    I don’t understand you.

  5. Oh, it doesn’t do enough, so do nothing. That makes sense.

    Guess you would think the Tribune is worth mentioning when they say vote no on something that you say Madigan is for and you also don’t like Madigan.

    …but when they endorse Obama FORGET ABOUT IT! What do they know?

    I understand partisan politics well enough to see what this is about.

    Simple majority. Majority is Democrat.

    Unions back Democrats.

    Unions want a new benefit.

    It’s not rocket science.

    It’s pretty easy to see the outcome, and we have experienced it as Illinois residents who are stuck in a state with one of the highest debts in the union and a downgraded credit rating.

    You can do something about it, even if it doesn’t go far enough, or keep it the way it is.

    You decide.

  6. You don’t know about the IEA Republicans that Lee Daniels recruited, I take it.

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