The outbreak of World War II in 1939 marked the end of the economic depression in Illinois. Many industrial plants in the state were rapidly converted to produce goods for the war effort and military camps and air bases in the state trained thousands in the armed forces.
Before 1950 any proposed amendment to the state constitution had to be approved by a majority of those who voted in a general election. Many people who voted for candidates, however, failed to vote for or against amendments, and between 1908 and 1950, none of the nine amendments submitted were able to pass. The “gateway amendment,” adopted in 1950, provided that amendments could be adopted either by a majority of those voting in the election or by two-thirds of those voting on the amendment. Five amendments were adopted in the 1950s. Despite the gateway amendment, many called for changes to the Illinois Constitution, and in 1970 the state adopted a new constitution, which was more suited to the needs of an urban industrial state. Among the new features were provisions requiring the General Assembly to meet annually instead of every other year and introducing a state income tax. The constitution went into effect in 1971. "Illinois" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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