House Speaker Michael Madigan, seen here last month at his victory party, is pushing a constitutional amendment on pensions.
(Terrence Antonio James / March 20, 2012)
House Speaker Michael Madigan today won committee approval of a proposal to ask voters to make it tougher to sweeten pensions in Illinois.
The Chicago Democrat and state party leader said he expected to call the proposed constitutional amendment for a full vote in the House this week.
The proposal would require the legislature, city councils and school districts to pass any increase in pension benefits with a three-fifths, or 60 percent vote, rather than a simple majority.
If the measure makes it through the Senate as well, it would go on the November statewide ballot for voters to consider.
Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Westchester, said Madigan's proposal is a "start" but that the spotlight is on pension costs now and few would be voting to increase benefits at this time anyway.
A panel is trying to come up with ways to reduce public pension costs. They're supposed to report back this week.
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