DeKalb voters support state amendment

By Jean Dobrzynski

DeKalb voters took care of a few odds and ends affecting their area as well as the entire state Tuesday.

Almost 85 percent of local voters were in favor of the state constitutional amendment that would give crime victims more rights.

Previously, the state Bill of Rights specifically guaranteed the rights of accused persons in criminal prosecutions, but did not provide any specific rights for the victims of crimes.

The amendment will add section 8.1 to the Bill of Rights, which guarantees that victims of crimes have the right to confer with the prosecution and receive information about the conviction sentence, imprisonment and release of the accused.

Affecting the DeKalb court systems, incumbent Maureen Josh won the DeKalb County circuit clerk position with 21,395, or 67 percent of the votes, compared to her opponent Dennis Lanthrum, who ended up with 33 percent, or 10,361 votes.

Three DeKalb County Circuit Court judges from the 16th Judicial District—James Quetsch, Michael O’Brien and Melvin Dunn—were retained, each getting over the required 50 percent of the vote.

The advisory question to Illinois voters, which asked whether the Illinois General Assembly should approve a resolution for a state constitutional amendment prohibiting the General Assembly and governor from adopting new unfunded state mandates that add additional costs on units of local government also passed locally.

Over 80 percent of DeKalb voters were in favor of the question which would allow state legislators to work to stop increasing property taxes due to unfunded mandates on local government.

On the local level, the DeKalb Advisory Referendum also passed with 20,317 votes, compared to 8,506. The referendum asked if real property tax bills issued by DeKalb County be no greater than tax bills issued in 1990 plus a 2 percent per year increase, without prior referendum approval from DeKalb voters.