Voters in Illinois will be asked in November whether they want to make it harder for elected officials to sweeten pensions, but really, it's a few decades too late for this.
The proposed change to the state Constitution would require 60 percent approval for any pension increase at the state or local level rather than a simple majority. Sounds good, but no one's voting to enhance pensions these days; there's absolutely no money to do it.
And really, pensions are already so plush -- early retirement ages, compounding cost-of-living adjustments and the like -- that there's not much more for politicians to give away even if they wanted. Even the unions, which oppose the amendment on principle, aren't actively working against it.
This is one of those meaningless, feel-good measures put on the ballot by lawmakers to make it look like they're addressing the state's $83 billion in underfunded pensions. Now the state has to spend more than $1 million that it doesn't have to explain the ballot question.
Why didn't lawmakers propose a constitutional amendment that would have allowed them to roll back existing pension benefits? Now that would be a ballot question that meant something.