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Forum: Opposes Amendment 49

Updated: December 1, 2012 4:29PM



Voters in Illinois have heard discussion and read the headlines for months about the pension crisis and its impact on the state’s fiscal health. But Constitutional Amendment 49 on the ballot Nov. 6 will do nothing to settle the issues before us.

Don’t be fooled into believing the amendment is the solution to this long-standing problem. It would give even more power to the Legislature, the same body that created the pension crisis because it failed for years to put its fair share into the retirement plans for Illinois workers.

This legislation would set a requirement of a three-fifths vote by any public board to improve pension benefits. Why must Illinois move away from the longstanding principle of majority rule, as in a simple majority vote of 50-plus percent?

The proposed amendment is an attack on public employees. These are your neighbors who work for your betterment and the greater good of your communities whether they be teachers, health care workers, police officers, firefighters or librarians.

This constitutional amendment will impact them all and will be permanent. There’s no time restriction. Once you amend the Illinois Constitution, this language will remain in place.

This referendum is the work of House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and Senate President John Cullerton (D-Chicago). They helped create the pension problems and this is their solution? What happened to working on correcting the Legislature’s shortcomings in funding pensions?

This amendment does nothing to set Illinois on the mend. Vote ‘no’ Nov. 6 on Amendment 49. Let the majority rule in Illinois.

Marilyn Thomas

Homewood

Green Party deserved a seat

Our two presidential candidates have not been asked some important questions during the debates. Questions such as how do we eliminate big money control of our government? Will you lead America to disinvest in war? Will peace be a priority?

Do you favor free public education, K-12 plus advanced training and college for all children? Do you believe that all taxpayers ought to benefit from technological advances in health care and education that are financed by the government?

How should the government regulate the financial industry, which has failed to act transparently and honestly serve the public good?

If the Green Party’s presidential candidate, Jill Stein, had been included in the debates, these issues would have been discussed. Stein would have presented a vision of our democracy driven by people, not by money. The Green Party is the only party on the ballot not accepting corporate funding.

Empires fall. Democracies evolve. Our empire of corporate domination will collapse of its own overreaching. The United States will grow into the self-governing nation envisioned in our Declaration of Independence — cleaning up the waste and corruption in our institutions and regulating the forces in the private sector that have proved themselves to be irresponsible toward the democracy that nurtured them.

This evolution will begin when the Green Party is acknowledged and welcomed into the national debate.

Katherine Felt Armstrong

Park Forest



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