Cost cutting in Illinois? What's that?

August 27, 2013 

By now, we thought the job of Illinois lieutenant governor would be headed toward the scrap heap of wasteful and unnecessary government spending. Instead, it's getting a new look.

No longer will lieutenant governor candidates run independently in the primary. Starting with the 2014 election, they will run as part of a ticket with gubernatorial candidates.

We should have known that all the talk of eliminating the job and saving taxpayers $1.8 million a year was just that, talk.

It's too bad. The state constitution considers the lieutenant governor job so unimportant that it doesn't even include a mechanism to fill it should the position becomes vacant. This is the job that metro-east native Dave O'Neal quit because he said he was so bored.

Who wouldn't be bored? The main duty is stand around in case the governor should die, fall gravely ill or be sent to prison. Illinois doesn't need a separate job for that; the attorney general could step in if need be.

Current Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon thinks the position should be retained. However, she doesn't want the job anymore; she's going to run for the high profile job of comptroller instead.

Speaking of comptroller, lawmakers also talked of combining the comptroller and treasurer jobs to streamline government and save the taxpayers money. That discussion didn't go anywhere, either.

Politicians are great at addition but are horrible at subtraction.

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