House: Let Voters Decide on Lt. Governor
By The Associated Press, with addtional reporting from Illinois Public Radio
The Illinois House wants to let voters decide whether to keep state government's No. 2 job.
Rep. David McSweeney's proposed constitutional amendment on the long-derided post of lieutenant governor passed 83-28 Thursday. If it gets the Senate's OK voters would decide in 2014.
McSweeney - a Barrington Hills Republican - says eliminating the job would save $2 million a year. The attorney general would fill a vacancy at the top.
Past efforts to close the office have foundered. Lieutenant governors play largely ceremonial roles.
One lieutenant governor quit in 1981 citing boredom. One resigned in 1998 for another job but relented.
Two lieutenant governors in the past 45 years - including current Gov. Pat Quinn - took the top spot upon a vacancy.
Current Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon says she's leaving at the end of her term, and is expected to run for another office.
All House lawmakers from East Central Illinois voted for the measure, with the exception of Republican Chad Hays, who had an excused absence Thursday.