Digital Access

Digital Access
Access daily-chronicle.com from all your digital devices and receive breaking news and updates from around the area.

Home Delivery

Home Delivery
Local news, prep sports, Chicago sports, local and regional entertainment, business, home and lifestyle, food, classified and more!

Text Alerts

Text Alerts
Choose your news! Select the text alerts you want to receive: breaking news, prep sports scores, school closings, weather, and more.

Email Newsletters

Email Newsletters
We'll deliver news & updates to your inbox. Sign up for free e-newsletters today.
The Holiday Gift Auction is Live! Click here and bid now on great local gifts!
State Election

Illinois voters approve 2 amendments, 3 advisory issues

Area residents cast their ballots for the midterm elections Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Springfield, Ill.  Illinois voters decide Tuesday whether to give Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn four more years in office or hand control of the state to Republican businessman Bruce Rauner. The governor's race is expected to be one of the closest in the U.S. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)
Area residents cast their ballots for the midterm elections Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. Illinois voters decide Tuesday whether to give Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn four more years in office or hand control of the state to Republican businessman Bruce Rauner. The governor's race is expected to be one of the closest in the U.S. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

CHICAGO – Illinois voters overwhelmingly approved two constitutional amendments, ensuring that voters aren't illegally discouraged from casting ballots and establishing regulations to give crime victims a larger role in prosecutions.

More than 3 million people cast ballots Tuesday to amend the state constitution on the two issues, and large majorities also expressed support for increasing the minimum wage, hitting millionaires with an income tax surcharge to pay for schools and requiring in-state insurance plans to cover birth control.

The voters' rights amendment was a Democratic response to Republican-led actions in three dozen states to require voters to show proof of identification. The amendment bars attempting to disenfranchise anyone on the basis of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or other grounds.

The second constitutional amendment aims to ensure that victims receive necessary information about court proceedings, including hearings and plea negotiations. It would make sure victims know how to seek restitution and stay safe around alleged perpetrators.

Patterned on California's 2008 proposition called "Marsy's Law," it had the backing of Democratic Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

The other ballot questions were advisory, so the results carry no weight in terms of lawmaking in the state Capitol.

Voters supported raising the minimum wage to $10 an hour from $8.25 by 2015.

The minimum wage issue became a flashpoint in the gubernatorial election. Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn favored increasing it. GOP challenger Bruce Rauner, who initially supported cutting it, also favored it, but with other changes in the law favorable to businesses.

House Speaker Michael Madigan, a Chicago Democrat, tried to pass the so-called millionaires tax as a law in the General Assembly's spring session, but couldn't get enough support. The idea, which had the support of 64 percent of voters, would be to tack on a 3 percent surcharge on any taxpayer whose adjusted gross income topped $1 million.

The Internal Revenue Service indicates that Illinois had more than 14,500 households with income at that level in 2011, meaning such a surcharge would bring in $1 billion a year for public schools.

The contraceptive-coverage question, which had 66 percent approval, responded to the U.S. Supreme Court's June ruling that craft-store chain Hobby Lobby is not required to pay for birth control. Advocates for coverage say the decree guts Illinois' 2003 law requiring it.

Loading more