Lawmakers want gov/lt gov ticket in primary

Lawmakers want gov/lt gov ticket in primary

Posted by JP on Tue, 04/27/2010 - 18:25
In an effort to avoid any Scott Lee Cohen-like scenarios from unfolding again, lawmakers sent a measure to the governor that would require candidates for governor and lieutenant governor to run as a team in the primary. Currently, lieutenant governor candidates run independently in their party’s primary elections but are elected jointly with the gubernatorial nominee in the general election. Democratic voters pegged Cohen as the party's nominee for lieutenant governor, but he dropped out after allegations of domestic violence and steroid abuse surfaced. Carbondale resident Sheila Simon is now the party's nominee for the post. Meanwhile, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan proposed a constitutional amendment that would abolish the lieutenant governor post, but that proposal is still in the House. Under Madigan's measure, the attorney general - a post now held by Madigan's daughter, Lisa Madigan - would be next in the line of succession if the governor resigns or dies. The proposed amendment allows for a member of the other party to assume the office if the governor dies or resigns. The lieutenant governor, paid $135,669 a year, commands an office budget of roughly $2.5 million with 29 staff members. While the only constitutional duty is to serve as a substitute governor, the office has been given the tasks of running the Illinois Main Street program, the River Coordinating Council and the Rural Bond Bank of Illinois. -- by Timothy Magaw
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