Illinois Voters Will Weigh In on Five Ballot Questions
Jim Anderson -- Illinois Radio Network
In addition to electing candidates, Illinois voters will be weighing in on five ballot questions.
Two are constitutional amendments – one on the issue of voting rights and one a crime victims’ bill of rights. Three are advisory questions on raising the minimum wage, imposing a higher tax on incomes over $1 million, and requiring health insurance plans to cover birth control.
Mary Schaafsma, executive director of the League of Women Voters of Illinois, says these advisory questions are not just a pass-fail proposition. They will need a show of support, or lack of support, to get lawmakers to act.
“The value, depending on your perspective, on advisory referenda is that it’s kind of its own little poll, and it’s taking the pulse of the voters to see where they stand on these issues,” she said.
The constitutional amendments, on the other hand, are now directly up to the voters. They will be approved if they get yes votes from a majority of those voting in the election, or 60 percent of those voting on the question.
● CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT – VOTING RIGHTS – Would prohibit any law that disproportionately affects the rights of eligible Illinois citizens to register to vote or cast a ballot based on the voter's race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or income.
● CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT – CRIME VICTIMS BILL OF RIGHTS – Updates the 1992 amendment to give crime victims standing in court to enforce their rights.
● ADVISORY REFERENDUM – MINIMUM WAGE – Should the minimum wage be raised to $10 an hour?
● ADVISORY REFERENDUM – MILLIONAIRE TAX – Should a 3 percent tax be imposed on incomes over $1 million per year, with the proceeds to go to education?
● ADVISORY REFERENDUM – BIRTH CONTROL -- “Shall any health insurance plan in Illinois that provides prescription drug coverage be required to include prescription birth control as part of the coverage?”