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Forum: Against proposed amendment

Updated: December 5, 2012 6:40AM



Illinois voters should not be fooled into voting Nov. 6 for a constitutional amendment (Amendment 49) that does nothing to fix the state’s pension problems. Middle-class families and school districts will suffer if voters approve this amendment.

Though the amendment is being pitched as the answer to the pension crisis, it will have no impact on the underfunding of state pensions, the root cause of the pension problem. In fact, it’s actually a power grab by the same politicians who caused the problem in the first place.

However, if passed, the amendment would interfere with local control of schools by allowing a school board’s minority faction to control what the majority wants to do. It would handcuff teachers and school boards, and any governmental board, in trying to negotiate fair contracts.

One sure way to assess the quality of any piece of legislation is to look at its supporters and opponents. The amendment is supported by the aforementioned politicians, along with the prominent millionaires and billionaires who avoid paying their fair share to support education — the same people who constantly attack retirement security for teachers, police officers and firefighters.

Among those opposing the amendment are Citizen Action/Illinois, the state’s largest public interest organization, and the Illinois League of Women Voters, which said the measure conflicts with its commitment to “make our democracy more, not less, representative.”

Changing the Illinois Constitution is a serious act, one that should only be taken if the change improves the quality of life of our citizens. This amendment fails that test. Don’t be fooled. Vote “no” on Amendment 49.

Cinda Klickna

President, Illinois Education Association

Springfield

Editorial on Drew heartless

I could not disagree more with the SouthtownStar’s Oct. 21 editorial (“No special break for Peterson”). That you do not believe that Drew Peterson should have been able to attend his mother’s wake is both appalling and heartless.

Although what he did was terrible, Peterson, and all other murderers for that matter, are human beings and should be treated as such. He was convicted of murder by a group of his peers, and therefore should be treated as an equal no matter where he is, even if that place is prison.

He should definitely have the right to attend the wake of his mother as long as he is under police supervision.

Raymond T. Hodorowicz

Chicago

Stop passing the buck

All of Illinois should applaud Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) for her stance against shifting the cost of suburban and downstate teachers’ pensions from the state to local school districts.

The hardworking people outside Chicago who have paid their dues and taxes for services in their own area should be insulted by this sham of “passing the buck” once again.

Dennis R. Tierney

Frankfort



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