More on Amendment 49-Constitutional Amendment

Illinois amendment would eliminate constitutional protections

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – A little-publicized amendment to the Illinois Constitution on this November’s ballot could have a big impact on the pensions and health care of state workers if Illinois voters approve it, a University of Illinois expert in legal policy says.

According to John Kindt, a professor emeritus of business and legal policy, Amendment 49 is a “cleverly crafted feat of legislative legerdemain” that’s designed to concentrate more money and power in the state capital.

“This is a potentially major change to the Illinois Constitution that has received very little publicity and has been the subject of almost no public discourse,” Kindt said. “In the interest of educating the public, we need to start talking about the consequences of Amendment 49, if voters pass it.”

Kindt, who has testified before Congress and state legislatures about business and legal policy issues, says Amendment 49 would overrule the protection clause in the Illinois Constitution that restricts eliminating or reducing earned benefits such as pensions for state workers and retirees.

Amendment 49 clocks in at more than 700 words, making it longer than the entire first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, Kindt says.

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