Cary, Illinois...In an ongoing effort to reduce the cost of state government, State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington) is once again sponsoring legislation to eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor.
The same McSweeney sponsored constitutional amendment passed the House in the 98th General Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support on a vote of 83-28-2.
“The unfortunate reality is that the office of Lieutenant Governor has very few duties under our constitution and I think, given the severe financial problems the state is facing, we have to always put taxpayers first and do everything we can to save money. My only purpose in filing this Constitutional Amendment is to save taxpayers money and reduce the cost of state government,” McSweeney said.
House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 5 (HJRCA 5) would eliminate the office of the Lieutenant Governor beginning with the term of office commencing in 2019. The bill provides for a new Gubernatorial succession with Attorney General, Secretary of State, and then as provided by law, respectively.
“By eliminating this unnecessary office we will save the state about $1.5 million dollars a year,” said McSweeney. “We are in a fiscal crisis and this is a positive step in the right direction. The state's fiscal crisis requires bold initiatives which include the elimination of unnecessary or redundant government spending. No state government agency should be spared the scrutiny of a cost-benefit analysis. ”
The Lieutenant Governor’s office has little authority and responsibility other than being involved in the Rural Bond Bank of Illinois, Illinois Main Street program, and the Illinois River Coordinating Council. All of these functions could be absorbed by other agencies.
Like the former iteration, the current HJRCA 5 is quickly garnering bipartisan support, with State Representative Jack D. Franks (D-Woodstock) recently joining as a Lead Co-Sponsor.