Leaving Illinois Constitutional amendments to the Legislature obviously isn't working as evidenced by the impossible-to-invoke recall amendment. There may be a small loophole which we might be able to use for the largest of the gorillas in the room. The constitution allows for amendments to the legislative section of the constitution. With 282,000 signatures, we might be able to get something like this on the November 2012 ballot:
The General Assembly shall ensure that each fiscal year's total expenses do not exceed total revenues if the state has a negative net assets value. If expenses exceed revenues, Assembly members shall serve 30 days in jail.
Obviously the wording could use some tweaking to make sure they don't skirt the rules but that's the basic idea. The only potential gotcha, beyond just not enough voter support for such an amendment, is that the voter-initiated changes have the following restriction:
"Amendments shall be limited to structural and procedural subjects contained in Article IV" (Legislative)
That's open to interpretation but I'd like to think this amendment could fall under that caveat. So what do you think? Does this have the meat to get us a balanced budget and eventually get our spending and debt to a sustainable level?