Lawmaker: Plan to abolish lieutenant governor 'hijacked'

A suburban Republican lawmaker says a former candidate for governor "hijacked" his legislation to eliminate Illinois' lieutenant governor post, and the measure won't go any further this year.

State Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, won approval in the Illinois House last month for a constitutional amendment to abolish the job now held by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, a Wheaton Republican. He says getting rid of the job would save $1.6 million per year.

The legislation was claimed to be carried in the Senate by state Sen. Bill Brady, a Bloomington Republican and former candidate for governor.

Brady wanted a change because McSweeney's plan would put the attorney general next in line if something happened to a governor, and that could mean a change in political party. For example, Gov. Bruce Rauner is a Republican and Attorney General Lisa Madigan is a Democrat.

Brady agreed to change his proposal, but a Senate committee rejected the change.

Brady didn't push forward with a vote on McSweeney's original plan, essentially killing it for this year because of looming deadlines to amend the constitution.

"He hijacked the amendment without my permission," McSweeney said.

Brady said McSweeney's plan is "flawed" and pointed out the Senate rejected it last month.

"First of all, it didn't pass before," Brady said.

McSweeney argued Brady has supported abolishing the lieutenant governor's post in the past.

McSweeney says he respects Brady but wanted him to just call a vote.

"This is the worst part of Springfield," he said.

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