A measure aimed at making it harder to enhance state employee pensions has sailed through a House committee. The proposal targets so-called "pension sweeteners." In the past, the legislature has bumped retirement benefits for select state employees such as police, prison guards and highway workers. This change would amend the state constitution to require supermajority votes for such sweeteners, rather than a simple majority. Unions that represent teachers and other government employees oppose the plan. Henry Bayer leads the largest state employee union in Illinois.
Bayer says the proposal invites gridlock. Because this measure is a constitutional amendment, it would have to be approved by voters.
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