SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      Mobile Version     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact
CapitolFax.com
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.
Advertisement

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.

Discuss.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


21 Comments
  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:

    Patriot,
    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.


* Long list of appointments by Gov. Rauner
* Question of the day
* *** UPDATED x1 *** The Democrats' budget time bomb is starting to explode
* State threatens to zap all Chicago GSA school funding
* Another optics problem
* This is why we can't have nice things
* Tiny, secluded county wants no part of ATV plan
* It's just a bill
* Feds drop drug conspiracy charges
* Governing ain't easy
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Yesterday's blog posts

Support CapitolFax.com
Visit our advertisers...

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............

...............


Search This Blog...

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

Search the 98th General Assembly By Keyword

          
        * Level Up! Heroes of Might & Magic III HD, OUYA, and cats
        * Get exclusive discounts on cool new tech from CES 2015, plus 96% off lifetime subscription to OSTraining
        * Cell-enabled Nexus 7 tablets finally get access to Android Lollipop
        * Qantas in-flight lounge goes 3D courtesy of Samsung Gear VR
        * Google brings Now support to third-party apps
        * Hands-On Review of the Revamped Adonit Jot Pro and Jot Mini Styluses
        * BetterBatteryStats v2.0 gains Material design and Android 5.0 support

        * How to Make XBMC Easier to Use (Especially for Non-Geeks)
        * Learn About Every Pasta Type There Is with This Massive Encyclopedia
        * Android 5.0 Delayed For Carrier Versions Of HTC One M8, HTC One M7
        * Moto G (2014) 4G LTE Model Launched In Brazil
        * Microsoft’s Newly Launched Outlook App Overtakes Gmail On iTunes
        * Woman In Connecticut Receives $42,000 Bill From Verizon
        * Marriott Pulls Their Petition To The FCC To Block Personal WiFi Hotspots

        * Inbox: How will new-look Sox lineup affect Abreu?
        * Keith Law likes the White Sox (more than PECOTA does, anyway)
        * Which prospects will make the Top 100 cut?
        * White Sox embrace their position as favorites
        * White Sox embrace position as contenders
        * What else is returning with Gordon Beckham?
        * Which prospects will make the Top 100 cut?

        ...............


        Main Menu
        Home
        Illinois
        YouTube
        Pundit rankings
        Obama
        Subscriber Content
        Durbin
        Burris
        Blagojevich Trial
        Advertising
        Updated Posts
        Polls

        Archives
        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

        Syndication

        RSS Feed 2.0
        Comments RSS 2.0
        WordPress

        Loading


        * Standoff escalates over CPS' snub of federal te.....
        * Rauner defends paying staff more than Quinn..
        * Governing ain’t easy..
        * Long list of appointments by Gov. Rauner..
        * Fans pay respect to Cubs Hall of Famer Ernie Banks..
        * New By The Hand Club Building is 'Just the Begi.....
        * Gov. Bruce Rauner defends paying staff more tha.....
        * Former judge, senator tapped for Illinois Gamin.....
        * Gov. Rauner wants bureaucratic cuts in educatio.....
        * NEW PRICE: 1 Deerefield Ct., Clinton IL..


        * Gov. Bruce Rauner defends paying staff more than Quinn
        * Illinois threaten to withhold funds if district don't test
        * Cardinal George: Doctors have 'run out of tricks' for him
        * Cullerton: More information needed on high Rauner salaries
        * Pro wrestler cheats at Wing Bowl, hides food in fanny pack
        * Chicago suburb to honor Harold Ramis during Groundhog Days
        * Crundwell court filing says she wants to keep horse trophies
        * SIU student newspaper bids farewell to old printing press
        * AbbVie reports better-than-expected 4Q on Humira sales
        * Cellphone providers bringing 4G coverage to Chicago subways

        * 'Right to Try' bill would give access to experimental drugs
        * Rauner defends paying staff more than Quinn did
        * Top Rauner staff receiving higher pay than Quinn's
        * Springfield lawmakers want oversight commission to monitor 10th Street rail promises
        * Rauner staff receiving higher pay than Quinn's
        * New DNR director Rosenthal touts experience
        * Rauner wants bureaucratic cuts in education, elsewhere
        * New DNR director touts experience
        * Springfield unemployment falls to 5.6 percent in December
        * Springfield gaming terminal up 46 percent in 2014; revenue hits $1M

        * Rauner defends paying staff more than Quinn
        * McDonald's Super Bowl ad announces free food after CEO change
        * Free food for 'lovin': McDonald's shows off new strategy in Super Bowl ad
        * University of Chicago nurses authorize one-day strike
        * Ex-Sentinel CEO gets 14 years for investor fraud


          * Police: Worker dies after construction accident
          * Son found guilty in stabbing death of father at Westmont hotel
          * Verdict hearing reset for cop charged in Wrana's death
          * Hockey community honors ISU student killed in alleged hit-and-run
          * Orland Park police trying to locate missing teen
          * Man slain in front of teen son: 'The community lost a hero'
          * Death of Posen man, 81, latest cold-related fatality in Cook County
          * Money manager sentenced to 14 years in prison for massive fraud
          * Blackhawks legend Stan Mikita facing 'serious health issues'
          * Emanuel won't rule out property tax hike for police, fire pensions


          * Springfield Attorney Picked To Chair Illinois Gaming Board
          * Up To 8 Inches Of Snow Forecast For Springfield Area
          * Could Rauner's Spending Hold Derail New Train Routes?
          * Listen to State Week - January 30, 2015
          * Rauner Staff Receiving Higher Pay Than Quinn's
          * Rauner Defends Higher Staff Salaries
          * Unmasking Ernie Banks
          * Guzzardi Wants Parents To Be Able To Opt Kids Out Of Testing
          * National Weather Service Latest Snow Projections
          * Rauner Tells U Of I To Cut Bureaucracy


          * 'Right to Try' bill would give access to experimental drugs
          * Rauner defends paying staff more than Quinn did
          * Our Opinion: Residency not the best gauge of loyalty
          * Cary Collins: Other options for fixing Illinois' pension problems
          * E.J. Dionne: For the Patriots, without apology
          * Esther Cepeda: Paid sick leave is a worthy prescription
          * George Will: Bud Selig's winning legacy
          * Quote of the Day: Friday, Jan. 30, 2015
          * Top Rauner staff receiving higher pay than Quinn's
          * Springfield lawmakers want oversight commission to monitor 10th Street rail promises


          * Jury convicts man of murder
          * Jury acquits man in DUI case
          * Three arrested over Rantoul break-in
          * Man sentenced to prison in cocaine case
          * Comptroller says email glitch fixed
          * Who's in the news? Karly Lent
          * Snowy weekend on tap for East Central Illinois
          * Child killed after being hit by truck in Carbondale
          * Student trustee Miller lives lifelong dream in Springfield
          * Chenoa cancels boil order


          * Wheaton students learn about heart health
          * Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein lands new president
          * Blackhawks legend Mikita suffering from dementia
          * Kids can learn science of Groundhog Day
          * Kane clerk on sprint to Feb. 24 primary, early voting begins Monday

          * Rep. Lipinski Announces Service Academy No...
          * Rep. Lipinski Recognizes and Celebrates Na...
          * Kinzinger, Lipinski Offer GOP-Democrat Uni...
          * Chicago March for Life doubles attendance ...
          * Archbishop Blase Cupich, Congressmen Dan L...
          * Archbishop Cupich joins hundreds at March ...
          * Rep. Lipinski Helps Pass Veterans' Suicide...
          * Lipinski: There's still a lot of work left...
          * Rep. Lipinski Protects the Paychecks of Pa...
          * Lemont HS Student Among Rep. Lipinski's Pi...

          * Fans pay respect to Cubs Hall of Famer Ern......
          * Safe Food Act could streamline food safety......
          * Fans from all walks of life stop by to sal......
          * Bob's Blog: Romney out of the race...
          * Hundreds expected to attend Ernie Banks vi......

          * Sen. Kirk pushes $300 million plan to help......
          * Gov. Rauner defends paying staff more than......
          * Senate GOP Debates What to Do Next With Ir......
          * Top Rauner staff more highly paid than Qui......
          * If Political Contributions Predicted Super......

          * Video Gambling Revenue In Illinois More Than Doubles In 2014
          * Illinois Ranks Poorly On Well-Being Indicators; African-American Jobless Rate
          * Lee Talley: The Illinois Manufacturer’s Association and Bruce Rauner’s Right-to-Work-for-Less Zones.
          * TRS’s Dave Urbanek explains the problem with Rauner’s pension Plan B.
          * Study: Several U.S. Corporations 'Fleecing' Uncle Sam, Spending More On CEOs
          * O'Hare Catering Workers Kick Off 'Nickel A Ticket' Affordable Health Care Campaign
          * Panel Calls For Reforms To 'Oppressive' Chicago Taxi Regulations
          * Taxi cab
          * Emanuel's Campaign War Chest Grows By $800,000 In Single Week
          * Many Top Emanuel Donors Benefit From City Assistance


          * IDHS reminds eligible workers to take advantage of free tax help and the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) - More than 30 sites offer free tax services Statewide
          * IEMA, American Lung Association Launch Health House - Radon Excellence Program in Savoy - Two Champaign builders coordinating with Heyworth radon mitigator in program to reduce radon-related lung cancer risks in new homes
          * One Confirmed Case of Measles in Illinois
          * Governor announces latest round of agency appointments
          * Rauner announces “Turnaround Team” - Stellar team to help turn Illinois around




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