Illinois lawmakers have taken the first step toward eliminating the office of Lieutenant Governor. A proposed amendment to the state Constitution could save a projected $1.6 million a year.
A house committee passed the proposal to the full House. An identical measure is pending in the Senate.
The lieutenant governor doesn't actually have to do much. The Constitution vaguely says whoever holds the office "shall perform the duties delegated to him by the Governor."
This year, the Lt. Gov is actually a “her," Evelyn Sanguinetti. She led a local government consolidation task force.
Sanguinetti's major constitutionally-prescribed duty is to be ready to take the place of the governor, should Bruce Rauner resign, die or be impeached.
Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat voted in favor nixing the office.
"It's always been an insurance policy but I think it's well past the point of insurance," Franks said.
"We're in a crisis mode in the state. We’re on a lifeboat, and we can't keep everything," he said.
Although the proposal passed a committee unanimously, lawmakers raised concerns. Without a "lite gov," the Attorney General would be next in line. Currently, that's Lisa Madigan, a Democrat, and daughter of Republican Gov. Rauner's political nemesis, House Speaker Michael Madigan.