Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012
* The naïveté of the Peoria Journal Star’s editorial bashing the constitutional amendment requiring a three-fifths vote kinda overwhelms me…
Actually, legislators sponsored pension boosts just last session.
* Look, the proposal is what it is: A bipartisan face-saving gesture from a General Assembly that couldn’t figure out what to do about pensions.
But unless it’s repealed, a constitutional amendment is with us forever. In years to come, when the pension furor has died down, the amendment would still be on the books.
* And, yes, it’s true that almost all pension sweeteners were approved by more than three-fifths majorities. But a constitutional requirement for a super-majority almost always means that legislation is given a closer look by members. Its status is elevated by the Constitution.
The proposal probably won’t accomplish much at all in the near future. But it could very well be a flashing caution light for future generations when they take up pension issues.
* This, however, has some merit…
Plenty of proposals have surfaced over the years to require three-fifths majorities for tax hikes, which would make them all but impossible unless we get another Republican governor who wants a tax hike and has the ability to accomplish his goal (see Jim Edgar and the permanent extension of the temporary income tax hike for our only example).
* Pretty much every newspaper editorial board in the state has railed against this proposal. So, we’ll see just how influential they are come election day. If this thing is approved, without any groups spending any real money promoting it, then editorial boards might as well hang it up.