House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 18 proposes to amend the Executive Article of the Illinois Constitution by eliminating the office of Lieutenant Governor beginning with the term of office commencing in 2019. Currently, the state allocates $2,151,000 to run the Lieutenant Governor’s office and an additional $137,200 in salary.
If HJRCA 18 is approved by voters, the Attorney General would become next in the line of succession to replace the Governor, which would mean the replacement could be an individual of the opposite political party. The vacancy in the Attorney General’s office would then be filled by an appointment from the new Governor (immediate former AG) and the appointee would hold office until the next election. All of which could make removal of a Governor an enticing political weapon with which to invalidate an election and change the partisan makeup of the executive branch in one fell swoop.
“We all know Illinois could do with less government. The Lieutenant Governor is nothing but a second-stringer waiting to see if the starting quarterback goes down. We don’t need to be using over $2.2 million in tax dollars to fund an office with no direction or purpose when we could just add the succession provision to the Attorney General’s duties,” state Rep. Charlie Meier said.
“I applaud my colleagues who had the courage to call for greater government efficiency,” said state Rep. David McSweeney. “I’m glad this comes during the same week that Illinois House members also approved a bill to reduce our own compensation.”