Government unions dictate when Illinois Constitution needs changes

Government unions dictate when Illinois Constitution needs changes

In 2022, Illinois voters will face the biggest union power grab yet.

Voters will be asked Nov. 8, 2022, whether to change the Illinois Constitution – the third time in four elections a union-backed amendment will have been on the ballot.

But when it comes to popular changes backed by Illinois voters, don’t expect those amendments to survive the government unions, state politicians or their lawyers.

A proposal in 2016 to create an independent commission to draw Illinois’ legislative district maps gained over 550,000 signatures from registered voters. But voters never had a chance to weigh in on the constitutional change because the state’s politicians fought back to maintain their power and killed the proposal in court.

What did make it onto the ballot in 2016 was a union-backed effort to create a highway construction fund lock box, ensuring union members would have jobs and funding would not be siphoned off.

Then in 2020 the progressive income tax constitutional amendment was on the ballot. It would have boosted taxes to the benefit of government worker unions, but voters rejected it when they understood it was not a “fair tax” but rather a vehicle for more taxes, specifically on retirement income.

And in 2022 voters will face the biggest union power grab yet: Amendment 1. It seeks to enshrine union powers in the Illinois Constitution, making it impossible for lawmakers to curb union powers and giving union contracts more weight than state law.

Nearly 88% of lawmakers received money from unions during 2019-2020. Of the $15.7 million in union contributions, 94% of the money went to Democratic campaigns.

Unions only represent 15.2% of Illinois’ workforce, but their voices are loud and clear in Springfield.

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