IL House votes to remove lt. gov. from state constitution

Members of the Illinois House say the services of the lieutenant governor are no longer needed. They're not targeting current officeholder Sheila Simon, but the actual job itself. 

It's often been attributed to John Nance Garner that the job of vice president "is not worth a bucket of warm spit." Members of the Illinois House of Representatives seem to have similar ideas about the office derisively called the "lite guv." They voted 83-28 to eliminate the job from the Illinois Constitution.

David McSweeney is a Republican from Barrington Hills. He says six other states don't have lieutenant governors, and expects the move to save nearly $2 million a year.

"This amendment is not meant to try to offend the current lieutenant governor. In fact it would not go into effect until 2019," McSweeney says.

The Illinois Constitution gives the lieutenant governor precisely zero formal duties. Current Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon has kept herself busy chairing task forces and councils on education, agriculture, and environmental issues. But even she's not running for reelection. She's kept quiet about her plans, but is expected to run for another office. Before taking effect, the measure would still have to get through the Senate and be approved by voters at next year's election.