Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon said the office of lieutenant governor is beneficial to the state. (Photo courtesy Lt. Gov. Simon/Facebook)
By Nick Gale
CHICAGO - With a bill making its way to the Senate that would eliminate the office of lieutenant governor, the sitting lieutenant governor says not so fast.
Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon, who has decided not to seek re-election, said in a state like Illinois, it’s nice to have a back-up plan.
“Illinois is a state where we know we need to have a succession plan, we’ve demonstrated it recently, and the question of how much you spend on it is different from the question of should there be a succession plan,” Simon said.
Some states have a lieutenant governor elected by the people, who serve in the governor’s cabinet. In that case there is no office of the lieutenant governor so taxpayers are paying a salary rather than funding another office and all that comes with it.
Simon said she is open to such a plan.
“I think we need to have a lieutenant governor and there are lots of ways to make it work effectively for the state,” Simon said.
Since FY2012 Simon has lowered her budget by 12 percent. Her office has requested a budget of $1.8 million for FY 2014, which many would say that in the grand scheme of things, is just a drop in a bucket.