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  Republicans propose eliminating lieutenant governor post
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Last Editedev  Jul 09, 2009 11:58pm
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MediaNewspaper - Quad-City Times
News DateFriday, July 10, 2009 05:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionRepublicans propose eliminating lieutenant governor post

Mike Riopell | Posted: Thursday, July 9, 2009 8:20 pm | No Comments Posted

SPRINGFIELD - A group of Republicans in the Illinois House said Thursday that one of their plans to save the state money is eliminating Gov. Pat Quinn's former job.

Eliminating the office of lieutenant governor would save the state about $2.5 million. The job description for the office is vague, though the lieutenant governor steps into the state's top post if the governor can't do the job.

The Republicans also want most of the state's fleet of planes sold, and some appointed jobs throughout state government eliminated.

State Rep. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth, said he realizes the plans won't shore up the state's entire deficit. But he said it's hard to tell people about losing state services to budget cuts when the state still operates a fleet of planes.

"Symbols are important," Mitchell said.

Lawmakers and Quinn are in the process of trying to craft a state budget that was due more than a week ago, while trying to manage the state's $11.6 billion deficit at the same time.

Mitchell says the Republican plans, which include eliminating state funding of health care for undocumented immigrants, could save $1 billion.

Quinn has started the process of laying off 2,600 workers around state government, including more than 1,000 prison workers. He wants an increase in the state's income tax rate to fill the deficit, but Republicans and some Democrats have balked at the idea.

State Rep. John Cavaletto, R-Salem, said the Republican plan could help ease those cuts.

"We can't afford to lose the jobs in (the Department of) Corrections down in our area," Cavaletto said.
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