House moves to nix statewide constitutional mailings in cost-saving effort
Homes across Illinois would be free from some extra mail and the state would free up a little money under a bill sponsored by Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) that passed the House unanimously on Tuesday.
“HB348 simply requires an online notice for constitutional amendments in the future,” McSweeney said to the floor. “It also eliminates the requirement if there is a constitutional amendment in the future of eliminating the office of the lieutenant governor.”
Currently, any proposed change to the Illinois Constitution requires an informational mailing to all Illinois households informing them of how the change will appear on a ballot. HB348 would remove that requirement and provides that online and newspaper notices would suffice.
“I believe advertising a proposed constitutional amendment in newspapers and putting information on a central website is sufficient to get information to the public about the proposed changes," McSweeney said. "There is no need to add more cost to this process by sending information in the mail."
The change would supposedly save Illinois taxpayers approximately $1.3 million every time a proposed constitutional amendment is on a ballot.
McSweeney has also proposed eliminating the lieutenant governor’s office, which he says will save an additional $1.5 million a year.
“It is important for us to look at ways to save taxpayers money,” McSweeney said. “I am pushing a measure to save taxpayers money by eliminating the lieutenant governor’s office that has few constitutional responsibilities. Let’s save $2.8 million total by eliminating the lieutenant governor’s office and eliminating the mailing requirement. Instead of talking about ways to raise taxes, let’s finally enact common sense measures to reduce spending.”
HB348 passed the House unanimously and is now in the Senate. It has received bipartisan support, with Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) as chief co-sponsor.
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