Illinois Pension Benefit Amendment Fails

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CHICAGO (AP) – A proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution that would have made it more difficult to expand public employee retirement benefits has failed.

With about 90 percent of the vote reported on Wednesday morning the proposed amendment had support from 56 percent of Illinoisans who voted on the measure. But that fell short of the two criteria needed for passage.

The measure needed either three-fifths of Illinoisans who voted on the measure, or 50 percent of the total number of votes cast in Tuesday’s election. Nearly 5 million people voted in the election.

The amendment would require a three-fifths vote instead of a simple majority for any pension increase. To the consternation of public employee unions, cutting benefits would still require just a simple majority.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

With Illinois officials divided over what to do about state pensions, voters on Tuesday get to tackle the issue _ or at least a part of it.