Now that the Illinois Constitution has been amended to expand government union power, residents can expect to see costly government union demands, increased taxes and litigation to clarify its vague language.
Voters can change the Illinois Constitution in one of two ways: 60% of votes on the change, or a majority of total election votes. The Amendment 1 vote is so close and so many ballots remain uncounted, that calculating those two numbers remains elusive.
The Wall Street Journal, Crain’s Chicago Business, Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and News-Gazette all said voters should say ‘no’ to Amendment 1. They see it as giving government unions power to force higher taxes and weaker laws.
The Illinois Manufacturers Association president warned Amendment 1 would tie lawmakers’ hands from pursuing fiscal reform. The Illinois Chamber of Commerce president said it would decrease business investment and the Technology and Manufacturing Association of Illinois is worried about property tax increases.
Total property tax extensions are on pace to total more than $40 billion by 2026, $4 billion more than at present. Amendment 1’s expansion of government union power would likely accelerate that increase.
No other state’s constitution or labor laws are like Illinois’ – broadly allowing government unions to override statutes simply by negotiating contrary provisions into collective bargaining agreements. Illinois may not be alone for long.