The Illinois Senate will get another crack at a constitutional amendment to eliminate the lieutenant governor’s post.
Supporters of the measure in the Illinois House said lieutenant governor is a ceremonial and expensive office. It costs taxpayers more than a million dollars per year.
State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, said the state can use that money elsewhere.
“While social services are getting decimated in this state, while we’re not funding education, the lieutenant governor’s employees are an automatic appropriation,” McSweeney said.
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McSweeney said if approved by voters, the state’s attorney general would succeed the governor if there’s a vacancy.
State Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, questioned who would fill the governor’s role in other instances.
“I know that many people want to see our governor do some economic development in other states and countries,” Breen said. “When he’s away, who is here to help represent the state in his absence?”
The measure to eliminate the lieutenant governor’s position passed the House 95-10 Friday and now heads to the Senate where a similar measure failed earlier in the week.
Illinois voters could also get a chance this fall to ensure money for road and bridge repairs isn’t misused.
State Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, said his proposed constitutional amendment mandates funds collected through motor fuel taxes are used only for transportation projects.
“Too many times we have had funds that have been swept,” Phelps said. “This is undoubtedly going to make sure that money is used for projects in our transportation system.”
State Rep. Mike Fortner, R-West Chicago, said taxpayers have an expectation their motor fuel taxes go where they’re intended, “whether it be maintaining our roads, building new infrastructure, to promote transportation and a variety of purposes related to keeping our transportation network strong.”
The motor fuel tax measure passed 98-4. If passed in the Senate, voters would get a chance to approve the amendment in the November general election.