Voters could soon have the choice of deciding whether to realize potential improved efficiency and savings of merging the operations budgets of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, thanks to legislation filed by State Senator Sam McCann (R-Plainview).
“I believe that the Lieutenant Governor has an important role in terms of gubernatorial succession if something were ever to happen to the Governor,” said Senator McCann. “But because they run as a pair, and because their duties are so similar and part of the same effort, this would allow them to operate under one budget, potentially increasing efficiency and decreasing costs to the taxpayers.”
Under current law, the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are elected together as a pair. Both are constitutional officers, and once elected, each office has a separate budget and payroll that is appropriated by the General Assembly.
Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 15, if passed by the General Assembly, would ask voters during the 2018 general election to decide whether to merge the operations and staff under one single appropriated budget. The only exception would be the salaries of the two officers, which would remain separate.
If approved by the voters, the Illinois General Assembly would still set the actual amount to appropriate for the combined budget.
“There has been a lot of talk in recent years of eliminating the Lieutenant Governor position to save costs, but there hasn’t been the political will to actually make that happen,” said Senator McCann. “I believe this could offer the taxpayers a chance to realize similar savings even without eliminating the position.”