The Illinois FOP Labor Council

The Labor Council provides full union representation: negotiating and enforcing contracts, improving salaries, working conditions, and benefits for law enforcement professionals throughout Illinois. Our members are protected 24 hours a day by a staff of full-time, in-house attorneys and field representatives who have a proven track record of winning.

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By Tamara Cummings, General Counsel - Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Amendment 49 would require a 3/5 or 60% majority vote to approve pension benefits for any public employee. By requiring a 3/5 vote to improve benefits, the Amendment would allow a legislative minority to dictate to the majority.

This amendment is one sided and unfair. While any improvements of pension benefits would require a 3/5 majority vote, a reduction of pension benefits would still only require a simple or 51% majority vote. Further, it negatively impacts only public servants, including law enforcement employees, their families and their survivors.

Curtailed benefits will mean that good public employees will be open to leaving Illinois jobs and taking their expertise out of state. How can Illinois attract good workers to public and private jobs with poor benefits? There will be devastating consequences for future economic growth in Illinois.

Further, Amendment 49 will cripple the viability of all public services in Illinois, including police and fire protection as well as education.

Amendment 49 would grant unprecedented power to State and local governments to make changes to pension benefits and existing law. Additionally, it flies in the face of the democratic process by giving less power to the citizens and more to the politicians who created the catastrophic funding problems in the first place.

Amendment 49 is a colossal waste of time and resources. It does NOTHING to address the funding problem of pensions caused by politicians and local leaders across the state. And yet it is those very same politicians and leaders that would be further empowered to reduce pension benefits under this Amendment.

This country was founded on democratic principles.  One of those long standing principles is the concept of a simple or 51% majority.  Leaders are elected by a simple majority.  Bills are passed by a simple majority.  In Illinois, every issue that is voted on in the legislature (outside of the veto session) requires a simple 51% majority vote. Yet now the leaders of Illinois are singling out public employees and public pensions. So determined are they to attack public pensions that they are trying to change the rules that have been in place for years for public employees only. We can’t allow them to take a step down that slippery slope. Today pubic employees and their pensions are the target.  What or who will be next on their agenda?  

For further information contact:

Tamara Cummings
General Counsel

Illinois Fraternal Order of Police Labor Council
5600 South Wolf Road Suite 120
Western Springs, IL 60558

708-784-0058 (fax)