For Sheila Simon, four years in the do-nothing job of lieutenant governor is more than enough. She announced this week that she won't run for another term.
That reminds us, whatever happened to the push to eliminate this useless job and save the taxpayers some money? Even House Speaker Michael Madigan seemed to want to get rid of it in 2010, but that went nowhere. Despite the lack of purpose for the office, spending went from $747,000 in fiscal 2011 to about $1.9 million is fiscal 2012. The recommended appropriation in the fiscal 2013 budget is $1.956 million.
And what about plans to combine the state comptroller's and treasurer's office? That would have saved the taxpayers an estimated $12 million a year. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka and Treasurer Dan Rutherford supported the idea. The state Senate voted 55-0 in 2011 to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot, but it never made it out of the House and onto the ballot.
It's not just the money saved but the example these changes would set of government being willing to reconfigure itself for the public good. The failure to act also sends the message -- that our leaders are not serious about changing or saving the taxpayers money.