SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
Lite guv debate

Wednesday, Apr 17, 2013

* Daily Herald editorial

Three years ago, when the job of lieutenant governor was vacant, 13 candidates ran for the post. Clearly, it must have important duties and some power attached to it, right?

Wrong. Its allure is in what it potentially can lead to — the governor’s office, just as it did for the current governor, Pat Quinn, after Rod Blagojevich was impeached.

And knowing who the successor will be in case a sitting governor can’t continue is an important issue. But line of succession doesn’t have to mean creating a governor-in-waiting position. That’s the message in what the Illinois House did last week and one that we support.

Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, sponsored a bill approved by the House that would eliminate the lieutenant governor position by 2019. It is estimated that the move will save the state about $1.8 million a year.

While that’s a small number compared with the entire state budget, it’s still significant in that it makes a statement that legislators are serious about cutting costs where they can. It’s a good first step in consolidating government and one that we hope leads to even more consolidation.

* I think Eric Zorn has an interessting idea on this matter. Don’t eliminate the office, just defund it

Zero out the $1.8 million annual budget line for the state’s most conspicuous sinecure and render the position of governor-in-waiting wholly ceremonial. Like a beauty pageant runner up, the lieutenant governors will simply go about his or her life and remain ready to take over if, for any reason, there is a vacancy at the top.

Simply getting rid of the position isn’t a bad idea. The law spells out no formal duties for the so called “lite gov.” But if the state Senate and the voters go along with the constitutional-amendment route, the change won’t take effect until 2019.

And it will leave us with a potentially awkward line of succession in which the attorney general is next in line if the governor dies, becomes incapacitated or is impeached and removed from office.

If the attorney general were to be from a different party than the governor, the will of the voters about state leadership would be denied in the event of death or incapacitation. And impeachment proceedings would be infected by extra political considerations.

* Gov. Pat Quinn wants to keep the status quo

“There are some issues that fall between the cracks, and somebody has to stand up for those issues,” he said, listing off an array of topics he addressed in the position including aid to families of military service members.

“I was lieutenant governor for six years, and I believe in that office, for sure,” he said.

Moreover, he cited his ability to take over immediately after Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s impeachment as a positive to having someone in the position.

“It’s good to have a backup quarterback,” he said.

However, the duties Quinn cited were mostly those that he chose for himself rather than those that are given to the lieutenant governor by constitution or statute.

* Finke

The amendment is still a long way from getting on the ballot. The Senate must still approve the measure, and face it, when’s the last time something was on the ballot to eliminate a statewide office, despite numerous efforts? Try never.

This is not to say that Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is doing a poor job. On the contrary, she is doing more with the office than many of her predecessors. But it’s hard to overcome the stigma of a job where, over the years, two people have quit to find more fulfilling work.


- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - the Patriot - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 9:58 am:

    The post needs to go, but with the current officials it is problematic. No way should we have a system where the Speaker can make his daughter governor by impeaching the governor. Right now, that is the result of eliminating the post.

    Do you trust the Speaker to not abuse his power for his or his family’s personal benefit?

  2. - Chris Sale Fan - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 10:07 am:

    I like Zorn’s idea too, with one modification. Let an elected official serve in the post, i.e. the Senate President Pro Temp or the House Majority Leader. That way if there is a vacancy, the successor at least has a tangential connection to state government.

  3. - The Captain - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 10:10 am:

    Defunding the office won’t work in the long run. During some future campaign some gubertnatorial candidate will be touting the accolades of his/her running mate and will pledge to work as a team (a 2 for 1 if you will). That candidate will vow to ensure that his/her running mate has the resources needed to be effective, won’t just be a ceremonial position and some funding will reappear and then we’re right back where we started from.

  4. - Downstate - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 10:15 am:

    That may be more conspiratorial then even I can imagine.

    I think the funding should be cut. Not to zero, but maybe in half.

    Frankly, the duties for the lt. governor are pretty tiny. “Chair of the Governor’s Rural Affairs Council, the Interagency Military Base Support and Economic Development Committee, and the three Illinois River, Mississippi River, and Wabash and Ohio Rivers Coordinating Councils.”

    Make the Lt. Govenor the chair of DCEO. I’d like a state official that is focused on economic development around the state. And it would be a better “training regimine” than say “interagency base support”.

  5. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 10:33 am:

    I’m indifferent. Keep or drop it, it’s not a big deal either way.

  6. - Huh? - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 10:39 am:

    Make the lite-gov the chief of staff for the gov.

  7. - shore - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 10:41 am:

    you need to have the office. This state has an economy the size of turkey’s and it needs a number 2. this is overthinking side issues to avoid talking about the bigger more important issues.

  8. - ShermanStateEmployee - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 10:51 am:

    Since the majority and minority leaders of both houses control everything and nothing can get called for a vote unless they want it, why not save some real money and eliminate all of the house and senate seats but those?

  9. - Wensicia - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 10:52 am:

    Like Zorn said, reduce or eliminate the funding for lt governor. It’s basically a PR position anyway, just cover expenses related to appearances.

  10. - Skeeter - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 10:58 am:

    I have to say that while I usually find posts by “The Patriot” to be at least slightly paranoid and not remotely patriotic, he does have a point on this one.

    If the House ever wanted to do so, they could effectively turn this into a parliamentary system. Create a charge, and remove the gov.

    Is that going to happen? I doubt it, but it is possible. The power exists.

    However, on the other hand it does seem like putting the AG into the “next in line” could create a real potential for conflict. We’ve seen AG’s in other states doing some sort of off the wall stuff. I’m uncomfortable with making a prosecutor the next in line. It just seems to create the potential for abuse.

    One way around it would be to make the highest ranking Senate member of the Gov’s party next in line.

    That might serve to avoid any purely political impeachments and would also put somebody in office who (ideally) has some relatively up to date knowledge of the State’s condition.

    One final note — we need to remember that the Gov. is not the President. The Gov is not dealing with national defense. There is just not that much of a problem with a new Gov taking some time to get up to speed. We don’t need a shadow (or lite) gov to be ready in an emergency.

  11. - downstate commissioner - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 11:06 am:

    Don’t believe that position should be eliminated; but reducing the funding to say $250,000 or so might be a good idea; also assigning some specific job (chief of staff might work) would be a good idea,too…

  12. - Esquire - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    Eliminate the elected position of Lt. Governor. Following a gubernatorial election have the party caucus of the incoming governor’s party choose a state senator to hold the post of Lt. Governor without any additional staff or pay. Done.

    In the last century, I think only three Lieutenants succeeded to the Governor’s Mansion and two were short term occupants. It is a waste of money to spend so much on this office.

  13. - Just Me - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 11:18 am:

    We just changed the position so that the Governor and Lt. Governor run together in the primary. Shouldn’t we give it an election or two to see if that changes the nature of the position first before we eliminate it?

  14. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    Should we not see how the new “run as a slate” thing works out before passing judgement on this issue? Perhaps future Governors plan on using their pick to actually help govern. I sure as heck would…

  15. - Cincinnatus - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 11:24 am:

    Just Me is a faster typist than I…

  16. - Just Me - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 12:21 pm:

    Cinci — typing class in high school was easily the most valuable class I took. I’m a speed typist and can format letters and memos better than anyone I know. With technology being what it is today, everyone should take a typing class so they can master a computer keyboard.

  17. - Newsclown - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 12:40 pm:

    I think Quinn was actually perhaps the best lite guv there ever was. He took all the stuff on that Rod was un-interested in, and he gave those noble causes the support and attention they deserved. Veterans causes in particular were well-served by Quinn way before it was “cool” to do that. Simon is trying to follow that pattern herself. I think the real issue is that the legislature should define the job better, while leaving some room for each Lt. Gov to pursue their own favored causes.

  18. - Chavez-respecting Obamist - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 12:40 pm:

    Give the Lite Governor actual duties to perform.

  19. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 12:59 pm:

    Have the replacement for a governor similar to how other political positions in Illinois are filled - let the governor’s son or daughter take over.

  20. - Madison - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 3:20 pm:

    Now did we really need Sheila Simon or Jason Plummer to hang that state’s fate on in a time of crisis?
    I would rather have the money for pensions thank you.

  21. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 17, 13 @ 4:09 pm:

    I do not believe we should eliminate the position, but every Governor needs to assign their Lt. Gov some duties or else just give him or her a desk in the Governor’s office with no budget.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Reader comments closed for the holiday weekend
* Zopp makes small cable TV buy during debate
* Exelon Just Received A $1.7 Billion Rate Increase Through The Market-Based Capacity Auction
* Question of the day
* Raoul: "Inflexible demands plus willful amnesia is no recipe for any negotiation"
* Violence spike blamed on budget cuts
* *** UPDATED - Home and doing better *** I'll be back later
* Gray hired by Trump
* MLB playoff open thread
* Once more, with feeling
* B3 fallout?
* Unclear on the concept
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Visit our advertisers...







Search This Blog...

Search the 98th General Assembly By Bill Number
(example: HB0001)

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

* Acer setting up for October 12 Windows 10 devices day
* 3D Touch Control Center concept reminds Apple of what it can do
* Google is getting more search volume from smartphones than PCs
* BATBAND: Sleek, ear-free headphones won’t hurt your ears, now on Kickstarter
* Moto X Force passes through Chinese regulators
* Still time to win: enter to take home this HTC One M9 while you can
* Master your super human skills, control powers in ‘Heroes Reborn: Enigma’

* Hahn feels White Sox fanbase's frustration
* Sox to rely on improvement of core in 2016
* One benefit of the White Sox' lefty-heavy rotation
* Foot issue to sideline White Sox prospect Hawkins
* After second base, it was no-go White Sox
* Scouting, player development key for White Sox
* Arbitration-eligible White Sox won't put dent in payroll


Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0


* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Pre.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago sho.....

* Rauner names contributor to preservation agency
* Ex-governor says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felon
* Rockford University looking to finish raising $17.3 million
* Corruption arraignment Tuesday for ex-Chicago schools CEO
* Chinese students bring new business to Champaign-Urbana
* ISU president calls for end to budget turmoil in Springfield
* EXCHANGE: Many point with pride at World War II service
* NIU to rededicate plaque honoring fallen WWII veterans
* Chicago State names Alabama university official to top post
* Mural, crosswalk art project underway downtown Springfield

* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency board
* Rail work to shut down Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak trains for two weeks
* More than 400 press passes issued for this year's Illinois State Fair
* Rail work to shut down Amtrak trains for two weeks
* Ex-governor Ryan says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felons
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Democrats: Illinois could go broke without budget
* Gov. Rauner ends quarter with $19M in campaign fund

* Notre Dame gets $20 million for global investing institute
* The Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots approach to governing
* Cubs World Series tickets would be most expensive in history
* Union files lawsuit on Chicago Park District pension bill
* Paul Ryan said to weigh speaker bid under GOP pressure

* Patrick Kane spoils Islanders Brooklyn debut
* Jonathan Toews sets up Patrick Kane with ridiculous no-look pass
* Ryan says ex-cons shouldn’t have to wear ‘felon’ label
* Watch: New Blackhawk Artem Anisimov scores shorthanded goal
* Tearful Ald. Carrie Austin on health crisis that nearly killed her
* Emails: Ex-CPS CEO was outraged City Hall questioned no-bid deal
* Artemi Panarin’s personality, skill breaking down language barrier
* Parents blast CPS for cuts in special ed programs
* Mayor tells U.S. attorney general that Chicago cops are in “fetal” position
* Blackhawks’ success further motivates Nick Leddy

* Emanuel supports principal training amid CPS scandal fallout
* Elmhurst police ask for help identifying woman killed by Metra train
* Bomb threat at GSU cancels classes
* Man, 62, found dead outside on Far South Side
* Teen is charged in killing of longtime Chicago police civilian employee
* Ryan says 'felon' hurts convicts' chances of finding work
* Police charge father after incident that left infant son seriously injured
* Black bear that visited Indiana this summer returns to state
* Mother cleared of endangerment charges in death of infant daughter
* Assault weapons bans at stake in Highland Park case before Supreme Court

* Rauner names new chair of Illinois Historic Preservation Agency board
* Rail work to shut down Chicago-St. Louis Amtrak trains for two weeks
* More than 400 press passes issued for this year's Illinois State Fair
* Ex-governor Ryan says ex-convicts shouldn't be labeled felons
* Anti-violence programs shut down as Chicago shootings climb
* The Papers of Abraham Lincoln project still in jeopardy; memo paints discouraging picture
* Mike Lang: 'Racial Taboo' screening will advance local unity efforts
* Democrats say Rauner 'needs to get serious' on budget
* Bernard Schoenburg: Supreme Court refuses to hear Illinois Policy Institute appeal over press access at Statehouse

* LIVE! IlliNOISE Night
* Rantoul man charged with aggravated criminal sexual abuse
* Final Word: Cubit returns to Kinnick
* Tate: Big Ten QBs miss mark
* PODCAST: Sports Talk 10-09-15
* Wetter days ahead by mid-month across the Corn Belt
* High school football scoreboard, Oct. 9, 2015
* VIDEO PICK: UI 21, Iowa 14
* Urbana High School Homecoming 2015
* PODCAST: Illini Notebook with Brian Barnhart

* Rozner: Cards execute plan to perfection to take Game 1
* Boy Scouts closing Woodstock's Camp Lakota, two in Wisconsin
* Officials: Five people hospitalized after Long Grove crash
* Lackey, home runs too much for Chicago Cubs
* Priest who led Mundelein retreat, served in Des Plaines, Schaumburg, dead at 79

* House lawmakers overcome hurdle on key tra...
* Rodney Davis talks funding with Bloomingto...
* The agency that fought Illiana gets a new ...
* Rep. Dold takes educational cruise down Ch...
* Lawmakers decry high turnover rate of VA h...
* CBD Oil, and politics
* Simon considering state Senate bid
* Killer Congressman Tom MacArthur trying to...
* Shutdown? State may not notice
* Rep. Bob Dold

* Boulder Rep. Jared Polis introduces afford......
* Senator Durbin Calls on VA and Department ......

* Kirk supported money to Illinois waterways......

* Parents, Advocates Speak Out Against CPS Special Need Education Cuts
* Special education
* Marine Drive To Undergo Repaving
* Schakowsky Introduces Bill To Make Renewable Energy Tax Credit Permanent
* Byrd-Bennett Arraignment Scheduled For Tuesday
* Illinois' first lady appears in domestic violence PSA
* Roseburg Oregon protesters tell Obama: "Go Golf!"
* Positive Loitering Tonight, 7pm-8pm
* Islamic extremists cut off 12 year old Syrian boy's fingertips before public execution
* Rauner addresses LGBT Business Graduate Conference

* Board’s New Rules Will Reduce Risk of Tire Fires and Disease-Carrying Mosquitos
* Illinois Hosts Inaugural Interstate Medical Licensure Compact - Aims to increase health care access through multi-state physician licensure program
* IEMA Announces Elgin Community College Attains ‘Ready to Respond Campus’ Designation - Elgin one of five Illinois campuses to receive distinction
* New Mortgage Loan Interface Increases Efficiency, Compliance
* State Fire Marshal Ushers In Fire Prevention Week - “Hear the Beep Where You Sleep!”

    Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller