WBEZ | amendment http://www.wbez.org/tags/amendment Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Quinn plays down rejection of pension amendment http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-plays-down-rejection-pension-amendment-103736 <p><p>Gov. Pat Quinn played down voters&#39; rejection of a proposed amendment to the Illinois constitution that would have made it harder to expand public employee retirement benefits.</p><p>A day after the elections, Quinn says he remains optimistic he can get lawmakers to agree on a plan for bringing down spiraling costs of pensions for government and other public sector workers.</p><p>The governor sought to separate the two, saying the proposed amendment was not focused on the wholesale overhaul of the pension system that he has sought.</p><p>Quinn says a complete overhaul is a necessary sacrifice in order to balance the state&#39;s books and ensure public funds keep flowing to essential services like schools and police departments.</p><p>Quinn told reporters Wednesday he&#39;ll be &quot;working on that issue night and day.&quot;</p></p> Wed, 07 Nov 2012 16:42:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/quinn-plays-down-rejection-pension-amendment-103736 Indiana gay marriage amendment clears hurdle http://www.wbez.org/story/amendment/indiana-gay-marriage-amendment-passes-committee <p><p>Republican lawmakers in Indiana are determined not to fail this time around in pushing for a state constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage and civil unions.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">On Monday, a Republican-controlled House committee approved the amendment requirement by a 8-4 vote along party lines. It now moves to the full Indiana House and then the Senate, both of which are controlled by Republicans.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">But Republicans were not the amendment&rsquo;s only supporters.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">Democratic backers include state Rep. David Cheatham, who hails from the 69<sup>th</sup> district in southeast Indiana. He co-sponsored the measure.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;Since we have a state law already, why do we need to have this part of the constitution?&rdquo; Cheatham, of North Vernon, asked. &ldquo;My view on that is this: We have laws that deal with situations. We have a constitution that deals with foundation issues; fundamental issues. This is a foundation, fundamental issue. Marriage between one man and one woman.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The House committee also heard from <span style="">&nbsp;</span>critics who provided emotional testimony. They included Jessica Wilch, president of Indiana Equality of Indianapolis.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a force in this state that is determined to undermine the rights of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community. Those rights affect domestic-partner benefits to hospital visitation,&rdquo; Wilch said. &ldquo;And now there seems to be a significant effort to change the constitution of this state to question whether the LGBT community should even reside here.&rdquo;</p> <p class="MsoNormal">This is the second time Republicans have taken on such an amendment.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In 2005, as now, the Indiana House and Senate were controlled by Republicans. The party got a similar amendment through both chambers, but under Indiana law, amendments must pass through the legislature twice. By 2006, Democrats took control of the legislature, and the amendment stalled once Republicans were out of power.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">If the GOP prevails in back-to-back legislative cycles this time around, the measure would still face hurdles. For one, it would have to win support in a state-wide referendum. Most constitutional amendments in Indiana take years to pass.</p></p> Tue, 08 Feb 2011 04:50:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/story/amendment/indiana-gay-marriage-amendment-passes-committee