What's Up With Those Illinois Ballot Measures?: Here's One Chicago Feminist's Take

Illinois ballot measures

One of the most important elections in herstory is less than a week away, and I wanted to remind everyone that your vote will influence more than whether or not Hillary is our next president. There are three ballot measures that will affect Cook County and the State of Illinois. Here’s my take on each one.


The Transportation Lockbox

The first ballot measure is Amendment 36 to the Illinois Constitution. It supports that no revenue from taxes or fees relating to registration, titles, operation, or use of vehicles or public highways, roads, streets, bridges, mass transit, intercity passenger rail, ports, or airports would be expended for other than costs of administering laws, construction, maintenance, or repairs related to transportation.

Voting “yes” supports an amendment to ensure that all transportation revenue (registrations, fees, taxes, etc.) will only be spent on projects involving our streets, bridges, rails and roads. Voting “no” supports allowing the transportation revenue to be used for other purposes, including balancing the state budget.

An October poll by the Paul Simon Pubic Policy Institute found that 80 percent of Illinoisans support the amendment. It’s a popular ballot issue because over the last 10 years, $6 billion in road funds have been allocated to other areas in the state budget. Directed revenue will create specific funding for the deteriorating infrastructure of our transportation system. In addition, it could create jobs. As expected, the amendment is heavily backed by business owners such as asphalt companies and contractors.

This feminist is going to vote “YES” for the measure. I am ready for transportation improvements, including CTA safety, bridge repair, pothole maintenance, etc. I utilize these services every day. However, I don’t like this amendment. I believe it highlights the larger issue at hand: The irresponsibility of state lawmakers has created an environment in which residents are voting overwhelmingly to use the Illinois State Constitution to budget our money for us. Is budgeting the job of the Constitution? Maybe state lawmakers should be able to do the jobs they were elected to do. This is another transparent example of the failings of our elected officials.


The Consolidation of Cook County Clerk and Recorder of Deeds

Our second ballot measure is the consolidation of two government offices. The referendum asks the following question: “Shall the Office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds be eliminated and all duties and responsibilities of the Office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds be transferred to, and assumed by, the Office of the Cook County Clerk by December 7, 2020?”

The Cook County Clerk handles birth, death and marriage certificates. The Cook County Recorder works with property ownership records and deed transfers. Voting “yes” eliminates the office of the Cook County Recorder of Deeds and transfers duties to the Cook County Clerk. Voting “no” maintains the Recorder’s office and duties. Supporters encourage the office’s downsizing to save approximately $800,000 per year.

This feminist is voting “YES” to this referendum. If the offices are consolidated, the transition will occur by 2020. I encourage the development of modernization and the reduction of overhead. With the continual increased use of government computers, online forms, and centralized databases, the development of modernization can only benefit the taxpayers. Use the money we save to benefit women and children, instead of just paper-pushing bureaucracy.


Earned Sick Time

Earned sick time for employees is the center of our third referendum. Shall Illinois enact the Earned Sick Time for Employees Act, which will allow Illinois workers to earn up to 40 hours of sick time a year to take care of their own health or a family member’s health? Voting “yes” will benefit all workers in case of personal illness or the illness of a family member. Workers will be able to take personal time off without fear of losing their jobs or income. Voting “no” opposes workers earning sick time.

This feminist is voting “YES” to this referendum. I’m pretty sure if you vote no, you are a royal dick.


November 8 is an important Election Day for what’s at the top of the ballot, but don’t forget the other important issues we’re voting on that day. Think about our local ballot measures, research them and determine your own conclusions. And as always, stay rebellious and speak your mind.

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(Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

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Amy Cobb's eighth grade American History teacher told her she could not live her life like a "Saturday Night Live" sketch. Immediately, Amy knew the best way to express herself was through comedy. Writing provoking and sometimes controversial opinions has helped her evolve into the Rebellious woman she is today. When she isn't late for work at her day job in the legal risk and compliance financial world, you can find her procrastinating to write the end of a spec script in the iO comedy program or missing a deadline to research a Rebellious article.

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