While supportive of a constitutional amendment that would save the state more than $2 million through elimination of the office of Lieutenant Governor, State Senator Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) is offering changes that would address concerns over the path of succession in the current proposal and improve the likelihood the measure will be approved by Senate lawmakers.
“This is a good idea that would result in significant savings and improve current inefficiencies, but concerns about succession led to an identical proposal’s failure in the Senate,” Brady said. “In response, I’m offering an amendment that would change the succession process to ensure we’re protecting the will of the voters.”
Brady’s amendment to House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 5 (HJRCA 5) would establish a line of succession that better reflects voter intent. The 44th District Senator is offering a forward-thinking approach to address succession in different scenarios.
The changes advanced by Brady will ensure that someone from the same political party as the Governor would succeed the office by requiring that any officeholders in the current line of succession that are of the opposite political party be skipped over until an officeholder of the same party is reached. To ensure a viable candidate is always in the line of succession, the minority leaders of the both the Senate and the House would be added to the current succession list.
In the event that there is no one from the same political party as the Governor, the succession would proceed as currently provided by law. The current list of succession begins with the elected Attorney General followed by the elected Secretary of State, elected Comptroller, elected Treasurer, the President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House.
“I support the positive intentions of saving taxpayers’ money and eliminating redundancies, but not having a well thought out line of succession is too problematic to ignore. We need to respect the will of the voters,” said Brady. “The people of Illinois elect a leader based on certain criteria. We need to be sure we aren’t moving forward with a process where a person is the next in line to succeed as governor, even though they have a completely different approach to governing—an approach that was not supported by the voters.”
Without Brady’s proposed changes, the Attorney General would be next in line to succeed should the governor be removed, become unable to serve, or choose to leave, office. This current path of succession previously drew criticism from Senate lawmakers, who pointed out this could result in a situation where a Governor of one political party would be replaced with an Attorney General from a different political party. As a result, in late April an identical constitutional amendment failed to advance out of the Senate.