Republican state Rep. David McSweeney has filed an amendment to eliminate the office of lieutenant governor.
“Illinois is in terrible fiscal shape and we need to find real ways to reduce to cost of government,” McSweeney said in a statement Monday. “Eliminating the unnecessary office of Lieutenant Governor will save taxpayer money."
According to McSweeney, eliminating the office would save the state roughly $1.5 million a year. Current Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, who previously served on the Wheaton City Council, was elected alongside Gov. Bruce Rauner in 2014.
In his statement, McSweeney claimed the measure has support from both sides of the aisle in Springfield.
"There is strong bipartisan support to eliminate the office of Lieutenant Governor because the office simply does not have meaningful responsibilities,” McSweeney added. “Instead of talking about ways to raise taxes, let’s enact common sense measures to reduce spending."
The amendment does not change the existing gubernatorial line of succession laid out in the state's Constitution, which places the attorney general and the secretary of state next in line after the lieutenant general.
“We need to find ways to cut spending and eliminating an office with so few responsibilities and obligations seems like a good place to start,” McSweeney said “Eliminating this office is not going to solve all of our budget problems, but we have to start somewhere."
The measure, which has already been introduced House, currently awaits an assignment to a legislative committee. Democratic Sen. Tom Cullerton has pre-filed for the amendment in the Senate.
“Hopefully this session we can get this bill passed in both the House and the Senate,” he added.
In 2013, the Illinois House voted 83-28 to eliminate the office, although the measure was never subsequently voted on in the Senate. Last year, the House approved the same McSweeney-backed amendment in a 95-10 vote, but the measure failed to pass the Senate.