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The constitutional requirement for a balanced budget is not as strict as you might think.

Hannah Meisel

Illinois' ability to change retirement benefits of government workers is limited because of a provision in the state Constitution. But what about trying to make that a non-issue, by doing away with that clause?

Article XIII, Sect. 5 of the Illinois Constitution is direct: pension benefits, it says, "shall not be diminished or impaired."

Nevertheless, a law passed last year cuts benefits for current workers and retirees. Whether that squares with the Constitution is currently the subject of a lawsuit.

Howard Chandler Christy via Wikimedia Commons

The Illinois Senate has joined a push for a national constitutional convention. Organizers want to change the way political campaigns are financed.

The last time there was a Constitutional Convention, it was presided over by George Washington.

Question & Answer: Wayne Whalen on Con-Con

Dec 1, 2007

The Chicago lawyer and vice president of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Foundation board was a delegate to the state's 1969-1970 Constitutional Convention. He represented the northwestern counties of Carroll, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson and Whiteside, and chaired the Style, Drafting and Submission Committee.