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Question of the day

Friday, Feb 25, 2011

* Rep. Adam Brown (R-Decatur) has introduced a constitutional amendment to abolish the lt. governor’s office

“It’s purely a cost-saving measure that a number of candidates ran on during the campaign season,” Brown said. “I think the opportunity to abolish that office is overdue. It’s largely a figurehead position.”

Even though such an idea could only take effect after her term ends in 2014, Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon said Thursday that she’s opposed.

“I think we need a lieutenant governor,” Simon said. “Of course, you have to understand I’m kind of biased about that.”

* The Question: Abolish the lt. governor’s office, yes or no? Take the poll, and then don’t forget to explain your answer in comments…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Ghost - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:04 pm:


    it provies very litle actual public service, and tends to be a parking spot more then naything. We dont need the cost for the very little serice we recieve.

  2. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:11 pm:

    No. We need someone to take the place of the Governor in the rare event he/she is incapacited, dies, or is removed from office.

    While there is a line of succession through the constitutional officers, I did not vote for the AG to be governor. A Lt. Gov. is more likely to reflect and carry on the policies of the Gov., especially now that the selection process has been changed. The AG could easily be form a different party and/or have completely different views on how the office should be run. If we are worried about a lack of duties/authority, make the Lt. Gov. the President of the Senate or the Director of HHS or the head of the new Dept. of Education.

  3. - nieva - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:11 pm:

    While we are at it lets get rid of township goverment and reduce the legislative brances by half.

  4. - MOON - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:12 pm:

    The office serves no purpose. Doing away with the office will save the State a good deal of money.

  5. - Objective Dem - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:12 pm:

    The Lt. Governor is always looking for something meaningful to do. Their real function is stepping in if the Governor can’t serve their full term. This can be accomplished by setting up a clear line of succession with existing officials.

  6. - Freight Train - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:17 pm:

    I feel that it might be more effective since running mates can pick their running mates now. It may balance the ticket with more geographic areas. However, I believe that role of lt. gov should be defined in IL constitution more clearly.

  7. - been there - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:24 pm:

    “it provies very litle actual public service, and tends to be a parking spot more then naything. We dont need the cost for the very little serice we recieve.”

    this is true as long as we have a healthy, competent governor who isn’t impeached. but when we don’t, we need someone ready to immediately step in and run state government.

    both the attorney general and the secretary of state have full-time jobs in illinois, so we can’t expect either of them to take over.

  8. - Thoughts... - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:26 pm:

    You know what, I clicked “yes” before even thinking and already want to change my vote. Reason it should be “No” - the Lt. Gov. is the same party as the Gov. That might not be the case if the first in line was the AG

  9. - levois - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:35 pm:

    I say no and if anyone wants to give the Lt. Gov. office more responsibility do what was done before the 1970 constitution was enacted. Have the Lt. Gov. preside over the state senate again.

  10. - Joe from Joilet - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:38 pm:

    Tell me what the Lt Gov does and then I will offer my vote as to whether or not that position is necessary.

    === ready to step in and run state government ===
    When was the last time a Lt Gov was involved in the day-to-day operations of anything but their little offices?

  11. - You Can't Stop What's Coming - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:38 pm:

    We got rid of the incompetent, corrupt Blagojevich, and look what we got: the corrupt, incompetent Quinn.

    Eliminate the damn office.

  12. - Anonymous - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:41 pm:

    No, for reasons stated above, especially as the possible successor to the Governor, and being elected with that caveat in mind. As for duties, I agree that some clarification and perhaps some obligatory duties be given to that office. Of course, if any such duties are mandated, then who would perform them if the Lt. Gov. became Gov.?

  13. - RWP - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:44 pm:

    I voted no. The office should be used as an extension of the Governor’s Office. I think we should take a good look at it’s staffing. It was way to heavy under Quinn. A Chief of Staff, Scheduler and maybe a press person - but why not use someone in the Governor’s press office?


  14. - amalia - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:46 pm:

    No. who comes in next? AG? right not that is not a good thing.

  15. - Just the Facts - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:46 pm:

    Yes. The constitution currently does not establish any substantive duties for the Lt Gov. other than hanging around in case something happens to the Governor. In addition, or perhaps as a result, the office doesn’t appear to attract candidates to the primaries who are qualified to serve as Governor in the event of the incapacity, removal or resignation of a sitting Governor - seet the past election cycle as a case in point (we only ended up with Lt. Gov. Simon after the Democratic primary debacle.)

  16. - Robert - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:54 pm:


    1) history of our state suggests we need a LG ready to step in.
    2) governor can assign areas of responsibility for his LG to cover
    3) no significant cost savings relative to state budget

  17. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:57 pm:

    The last nominated nominees were:

    Scott Lee Cohen - nevre made it on the LG slate

    Jason Plummer - stayed on the ballot, “toured” the Illinois border towns … the only place to hide, and still be in the state …

    I vote “no” however … because I believe AFTER a nominee is chosen, they should have a RIGHT to pick who suceeds them - regardless of the “why” of the succession - and then the voters KNOW one is with two, and two is with one … something Danny Hynes would have love to give “the jacket” to Quinn …

    So, “no” … the nominees, picks his victim, for better or worse.

  18. - Jasper - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:58 pm:

    Elected officials seem to treat it as a joke. Plummer? Simon? Could either of those two do a better job than a random person pulled in off the street?

  19. - Frank - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:59 pm:

    Either abolish it, or have candidates run separately from Gov. Could you have imagined Jason Plummer being first in line to become Governor? That almost happened.

  20. - Groundhog - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 1:59 pm:

    “$2.1 million for the 2012 fiscal year”? That’s small potatoes.

  21. - Seriously??? - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:01 pm:

    How long did IL go without an LG when Quinn became Governor? Did anyone say, “Heck, we really need to fill that seat.” I don’t remember anything being said about filling the LG’s seat then. So it isn’t a necessary office.

  22. - Jasper - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:01 pm:

    “$2.1 million for the 2012 fiscal year”? That’s small potatoes.”

    Maybe, but those are my potatoes and some hack shouldn’t have them. I don’t care if abolishing the office saves $4. It is my money and I don’t want to see it wasted.

  23. - CircularFiringSquad - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:05 pm:

    Hey what happened to the comment about stealing the Madigan idea and the outcome?
    Is this censorship Friday?

  24. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:05 pm:

    ===Either abolish it, or have candidates run separately from Gov. Could you have imagined Jason Plummer being first in line to become Governor? That almost happened.===

    Jason would gladly match his experience up against anyones, so back off!

  25. - OneMan - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:15 pm:

    Didn’t we have a Lt. Governor of a different party than the governor at one time ( I seem to recall it was Paul Simon, but that was before my time). Since Gov lite is truly powerless I can think of better things to do with 4 million (also now that the gov and lt. gov run as a team in the primary that might cause issues down the line)

  26. - Knome Sane - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:17 pm:

    In some states, the Senate President is the Lt. Governor. I think that is a reasonable solution. Should a governor become incapacitated, the Senate President serves until there he/she is once again capable. Should a sitting governor die in office, the Senate Presidents serves until there is a election. If the senate president is from an opposing party, so be it.

  27. - Freight Train - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:23 pm:

    The law was changed to have candidates run on a ticket instead of seperately

  28. - dupage dan - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:44 pm:

    Get rid of it. The lt gov has no duties or powers - just standing by in case the gov gets a cold. Insure that whoever is next in line (AG?) only has caretaker status until a special election can be held - or a general if you get within 6 months of the end of the term.

    BTW - I like the idea of getting rid of some of the other thousands of taxing bodies in the state. The townships may have served a purpose 100 years ago but only serve themselves now. Their duties can be carried by the other 1000 taxing bodies in the state.

    Even if there are no major cost benefits - please realize there is no single big ticket item in the budget. Gotta whack the little stuff a bit at a time. If you’re looking for that one thing to cut that will solve all our problems, I got a bridge in Chicago I’d like to sell ya.

  29. - Geek Marine - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:54 pm:

    We’d have to have an election to determine the new AG.

  30. - D.P. Gumby - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 2:56 pm:

    No, what we have just been through demonstrates why we need the Lt.Gov. Would impeachment have occurred if the next in-line been a Repub office holder? Better would be to expand the duties of existing Lt.Gov. and make it more worth the $$

  31. - Boone Logan Square - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 3:01 pm:

    Eliminate the office. We can reasonably have the line of succession go through other elected officials; given that the popularly-elected Lt. Gov nominees for each party were Jason Plummer and Scott Lee Cohen, I do not have a problem elevating any of the constitutional officers to governor ahead of those two.

    Seriously, had Bill Brady won the election, Jason Plummer would be a heartbeat away from the governor’s mansion. Who here (regardless of party affiliation) would prefer him over Madigan, White, Topinka, or Rutherford?

  32. - the Other Anonymous - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 3:02 pm:

    As long as the lt. Gov. Runs separately in the primaries, we rin the risk that a Governor will be saddled with an inompatible and possibly incompetent lieutenant. Either abolish the office, or make the run as a team with a gubernatorial candidate on the primary. If they run as a team, at least the lt. Gov. has some chance of being an I portage part of the administration.

  33. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 3:13 pm:

    Look, this is NOT about Jason Plummer … I know he would have been a great LG, and ready at a moments notice to leas this state as its Governor …

    (holding breathe… starting to laugh, but trying to stop …)

    Ok, I tried … sorry!

    The nominees get 14 days after being declared the winner of the primary to choose a running mate, and then these LGs are forever linked to the Guvs they are running with, unlike Quinn who was able to claim he was NEVER Rod’s guy AND got away with it enough to win a Guv term of his own ….

    Gotta wear the jacket, Gotta pick your Number 2!

  34. - Jaded - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 3:37 pm:

    Yes. It is a worthless office. My litmus test is if something goes away for two years and you don’t miss it, it can go away forever.

  35. - Lyle Lanley - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 3:49 pm:

    Lt. Governor should be an unelected position. It should be someone appointed by the governor that serves purely as an advisor rather than someone given their own office and staff.

    I’d say that the position should be eliminated, but I think it is important in a crisis to have someone in place that knows, understands, and has prior knowledge of the governor’s office and staff. This is why I don’t think the AG, Secretary of State, etc… taking over for the governor is ideal.

    For example, look what happened in New Jersey recently when Gov. Christie was out of state during a major snow storm. There was a lot of confusion and finger pointing, but little action.

  36. - Wensicia - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 4:20 pm:

    Get rid of it, total waste of money.

  37. - cermak_rd - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 4:21 pm:

    Eliminate it. We did quite well for 2 years without one. Why can’t we just have a succession for temporary cases and a snap 30 day election in the case of a permanent need to replace the gov?

  38. - hammer - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 4:30 pm:

    No real use for a guv lite. We have succession.

  39. - JustaJoe - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 4:49 pm:

    As others have said, it serves no real purpose. Now if there could be some limitation on agency Directors and Deputy Directors, we’d have a movement!

  40. - 3rd Generation Chicago Native - Friday, Feb 25, 11 @ 4:50 pm:

    Knome Sane makes a good point

    If we put in place what other States have done, Senate President as emergency replacement to the Governor. Sure why not eliminate the office of Lt. Gov.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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