October 19, 2008: Constitutional Convention?

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn will favor the constitutional convention. The Illinois League of Women Voters, represented by its president, Paula Lawson, will oppose the convention.

Proponents say Illinois' Constitution should by changed to clearly specify that the state must provide most of the funding for public school districts. Other highly publicized issues include whether to allow voters to recall elected officials, such as Gov. Blagojevich; whether to save money by combining the state offices of treasurer and comptroller; whether to pass tighter campaign finance and ethics provisions; whether to revise the state income tax to raise it for corporations, and lower it for individuals; and whether to adopt so-called merit selection of judges, somewhat similar to the way federal judges are appointed, not elected.

Opponents charge that the constitutional convention would cost as much as $80 million, perhaps even more, and that money should be used for infrastructure, mass transit, etc. They also claim constitutional convention could endanger good parts of our Constitution, such as its Bill of Rights, and that the legislature can already do many of the things advocates propose, such as improving ethics and campaign finance regulation.

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