Fifty years ago, the Constitution renewed Illinois. Can you do more?

Springfield, Illinois (AP)-Given the recent headlines, it’s hard to imagine characterizing the Illinois government as efficient or positive.

However, the Illinois Constitution, approved this week 50 years ago, contained a pioneering belief in environmental protection. It provided equal protection of the law (prohibition of rules that discriminate arbitrarily) and proper procedure of the law. There was little controversy, protecting women’s rights, as opposed to the fierce battle for ratification of the Federal Equality Constitutional Amendment 10 years later.

For governance, it restricted borrowing and loosened the chains built by its 1870 predecessor, which lifted state restrictions on fine and archaic industries. The jewel of the crown gave the big city wide autonomy and allowed locals to decide how to manage the city hall without Springfield’s intervention.

“The example they used all the time was that when the city of Chicago wanted to change the color of the police car lights, they had to pass the law to do that,” said Charles Wheeler III, who covered 1969. Said. His first major mission con at the Chicago Sun-Times. ”

The majority of the 57% of the 1.12 million people who voted “yes” in the special elections on December 15, 1970. They proclaimed that the 1870 Constitution and its bindings were outdated.

No one could have foreseen the extent of the problems facing the state today, whether or not those voters thought it was still a vibrant document for half a century. The catastrophic debt that elicited a bond company’s rating just above junk status includes a $ 140 billion shortfall in the state’s employee pension program. Parliament has a self-permanent integration of power, and many lament that legislators ensure political survival by drawing their own constituencies.

Finally, the best of two governors in a federal prison, from joining utility giant ComEd last summer to participating in a decade-long bribery program involving Speaker of the House Michael Madigan. There is corruption in the political hierarchy. Career as a representative of Concon in 1969. The Chicago Democrat, who became the longest legislative leader in US history during his 50-year tenure at House, has not been charged with crime and has denied cheating.

Are State Political and Government Failures Constitutional Fares? To be honest, yes. A short-term exchange of pensions between the governor and lawmakers means that each year, a quarter of the general budget, about $ 9 billion, needs to be contributed to keep up with the budget. The 2011 Cost Reduction Act to reduce payments was withdrawn for violating the constitutional standards for promised reductions in pension benefits.

Just last month, Democratic Governor JB Pritzker adopted his plan to generate more income through progressive income tax on voters. The 1970 Constitution required a constitutional amendment because taxes on income must be the same fixed amount. Its epic defeat emphasized one of the main problems in finding a solution to a national problem: bipartisan, sometimes turning to not exaggerated truth.

Its atmosphere of political vitality contrasts with the confluence of events in 1968. Republican Governor Richard Ogilby wanted an income tax because of the coveted increase in revenue. Democratic Mayor of Chicago, Richard J. Daily, wanted autonomy. People on both sides of the spectrum agreed that the 100-year-old document hindered progress.

For Pat Quinn, dissonance is the reason for opening a concon. The Governor of the Democratic Party from 2009 to 2015 was absent for most of his career, a constitutional amendment campaign to enact term restrictions, an independently prepared legislative district map, and his personal favorites. We have coordinated direct citizen initiatives.

“About their cold corpses, no, there will be interest groups that say we can’t do this, but I don’t think voters see it that way,” Quinn said. .. “They will see this as a fresh look by those who are not burdened with having to be reelected. You were not reelected on behalf of Con-Con. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience. did.”

Quinn is making the most of the current charter. He honed his reputation by leading a campaign for the only citizen-led amendment to the Constitution, which reduced the size of the House of Representatives by a third in 1980, boosted by anger over legislative salary increases. I did. He jumped into the fight and proposed Concon in 1988. The vote was held for the first time because voters had to ask if they would convene a new tournament at least every 20 years.

Ann Lucin, who had just graduated from law school when she was a research assistant at Concon in 1968, believed that creating interest in Concon would require the same unique political adjustments as in the late 1960s. I am.

“We don’t need a new concon, it will be destined to fail, the public will never adopt that call,” said Lucin, who wrote extensively about the Constitution for 45 years as a professor at John Marshall Law School. Chicago.

First, she said, the current document is sound and anything that afflicts the state can be legally corrected. Second, she said, lack of consensus leads people to talk past each other.

“I saw what happened in 2008,” said Lousin, citing the discussions of the last two decades on the new competition. “People who wanted Concon were very divided on why. Liberals wanted it to limit government, and Progressives wanted it to provide more services. . “

Wheeler, an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois at Springfield, said that when representatives were seated, they could not be detained, much like closing the barn door after a horse came out.

“We can’t really limit the tournament, so there is a risk that the good things there may be brought out by the tournament,” Wheeler said. “You may want to say,’Well, we only want the treaty to see the pension clauses.’ But I think the convention is an autonomous operation. Pledge, what you want to do Will be able to do anything. “


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Fifty years ago, the Constitution renewed Illinois. Can you do more?

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