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Reboot Illinois Headshot

Want to change the state constitution? It's not easy -

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2013-07-05-IllinoisConstitutionInfographicfixed515.jpg

Two proposals to amend the Illinois Constitution have received lots of attention this year. One proposes to eliminate the office of lieutenant governor, and already has been approved by the Illinois House.

The other would allow the state to change its income tax system and charge higher tax rates to those with higher incomes.

There also are dozens of other proposed constitutional amendments that have received almost no attention -- and have very little hope of ever being voted upon. Among them are amendments to define marriage as being between a man and a woman, various term limit proposals and a bill to repeal the constitutional protection of public employee pension benefits.

But changing the constitution is a long process that ultimately lets voters decide. Our infographic shows what has to happen before a constitutional amendment proposed by a state senator or representative becomes law. (There's a separate process for citizen-initiated constitutional amendments, which we'll get to in a future infographic.)

If you're the scholarly type, the section of the state constitution dealing with amendments is here. Scroll to Section 2 for rules covered in this infographic. Section 3 outlines the process for private citizens to get an amendment on the ballot.