On the November ballot, you will be able to vote for or against House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 49 (HJRCA 49). HJRCA 49 proposes to amend the Illinois Constitution by adding Section 5.1 to Article XIII.
Provisions of proposed new Section 5.1, Article XIII
HJRCA 49 changes the minimum number of votes needed for the Illinois General Assembly to pass pension legislation that increases retirement benefits for members of Illinois public employee retirement systems. The minimum requirement for passage is changed from a simple majority (50% plus 1) to a super majority (three-fifths). In addition, HJRCA changes the minimum number of legislative votes needed to override the governor's veto of a bill providing a retirement benefit increase. HJRCA 49 increases the override requirement from the current three-fifths vote to a two-thirds vote of the General Assembly.
Current Section 5, Article XIII (Pension Protection Clause)
There is some speculation that HJRCA 49 will affect or change Section 5 of Article XIII, (the “pension protection clause”) of the Illinois Constitution. The pension protection clause provides that retirement benefits for active members or retirees of a public retirement system may not be reduced. The language of HJRCA adds Section 5.1 to Article XIII but does not amend, alter or remove Section 5. Thus, HJRCA 49 will not affect the current pension protection clause and does not affect current SERS members or retirees.