These Are the Referendum Questions on Chicago Voters' Ballots

In addition to voting for their candidates of choice, Chicago voters will have a chance to weigh in on at least six referendum questions using their ballots on Nov. 6.

All of the questions - three from city officials and three from Cook County - are solely advisory, meaning no action will automatically be taken, regardless of response. While the results not legally binding, they will provide lawmakers with key insight into the next steps in each of the areas polled.

To be prepared before heading to your polling place, here's a look at the referendum questions on every voter's ballot across the city of Chicago:

Should the City of Chicago ban the use of plastic straws within the corporate city limits?

Should the City of Chicago seek that the State of Illinois create a homeowners' property tax exemption for families in municipalities of over 500,000 that have lived in their home for over 10 years and whose income is under $100,000?

In the event marijuana is legalized, should the City of Chicago appropriate revenue from the sale of marijuana to increase funding for Chicago Public Schools and for mental health services?

All Chicago voters will also see three questions asked of every Cook County voter, which are as follows:

Shall the minimum wage in your municipality match the $13 per hour Cook County minimum wage law for adults over the age of 18 by July 1, 2020, and be indexed to the consumer price index after that?

Shall your municipality match the Cook County earned sick time law which allows for workers to earn up to 40 hours (5 days) of sick time a year to take care of their own health or a family member’s health?

Should the State of Illinois strengthen penalties for the illegal trafficking of firearms and require all gun dealers to be certified by the State?

While they will all be on the ballot, the first two questions from the county are actually already in effect in some form across Chicago.

The City Council passed an ordinance in 2014 that has been gradually raising the minimum wage each year to reach $13 per hour by 2019, then increasing with the consumer price index after that. And in 2017, City Council passed an ordinance requiring every employer to provide workers the right to accrue and use up to five paid six days per year, earned at a minimum rate of one hour for every 40 hours worked.

There are two other questions on ballots across the city, but the results won't be reported unless a court decides otherwise. Those two questions, championed by former Gov. Pat Quinn, who along with other interest groups, submitted petition signatures to get them on the ballot, center on term limits for Chicago mayor and establishing an elected consumer advocate.

A circuit court ruled the questions invalid, according to Chicago Board of Elections spokesman Jim Allen, but an appellate court was slated to hear an appeal in the days before the election. As it stands, the results of those questions will not be reported or included in the official results unless the appellate court reverses the lower court's ruling. Those questions will still appear on the ballot as follows:

Shall Chicago adopt the following term limit for the office of Mayor effective for the mayoral election in 2019 and thereafter: No person may hold the office of Mayor for more than two consecutive elected 4-year terms (with all prior consecutive elected terms of the current officeholder counted in determining the term limit for that officeholder)?

Shall Chicago establish an elected Consumer Advocate for taxpayers and consumers to replace the appointed Commissioner of the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection?

Some voters in Chicago may also see additional questions on their ballots based on where they live in the city. Those questions will be on ballots as follows:

Portions of Wards 1, 26, 30, 31, 32, 33, 35 and 36

Shall there be established, to serve the territory commonly described on this ballot or notice of this question, a Logan Square, Avondale and Hermosa Expanded Mental Health Services Program, to provide direct free mental health services for any resident of the territory who needs assistance in overcoming or coping with mental or emotional disorders, where such program will be funded through an increase of not more than .025% of the equalized assessed valuation of all properties within the boundaries of the territory?

Under the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, may an aggregate extension not to exceed $850,000 be made for Logan Square, Avondale and Hermosa Expanded Mental Health Services Program for the 2019 levy year?

Portions of Wards 33, 39, 40 and 50

Shall the City of Chicago hold public hearings on drinking water safety, including the City's compliance with the Safe Water Drinking Act and Clean Water Act and on protocols for lead testing and decontamination of water sources following recent lead testing of Chicago tap water?

Portions of Ward 49

Shall the City of Chicago hold hearings on lead in the water?

Portions of Wards 35 and 46

Should the State of Illinois be able to regulate rents to address rising rents, unjust evictions and gentrification in our communities?

Ward 49

Shall the State of Illinois lift the ban on rent control?

Ward 16

Shall the City of Chicago be required to provide full funding for the creation of a sanctioned National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) Baseball Team at Kennedy-King College, to begin no later than the 2020 baseball season?

Ward 25

Shall Alderman Solis' appointed Pilsen Land Use Committee (PLUC) be dismantled and replaced with a Community Driven Zoning process?

Ward 28

Shall the City Council pass ordinances proposed to make our neighborhoods safer by restricting criminal loitering in the City of Chicago?

Ward 29

Shall the City of Chicago and State of Illinois work together to construct a new Comprehensive High School in the 29th Ward to be placed in the Austin Community?

Portions of Ward 46

Shall the current entrance and exit to Lake Shore Drive at Wilson Ave. be maintained within the North Lake Shore Drive Study Project to continue allowing efficient access to the Louis A. Weiss Memorial Hospital Emergency Room?

The full list of precincts that will ask these questions, can be found on the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners' website. Chicago voters can also review their specific sample ballots by entering their address on this website and clicking the "Sample Ballot" tab.

To see the questions on suburban Cook County voters' ballots, click here, and for the questions on suburban county voters' ballots, click here.

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