A press release from State Rep. David McSweeney:
House Approves Rep. McSweeney’s Measure to Eliminate Mailing Requirement for Constitutional Amendments
Eliminating mail requirement would save $1.3 million each time a Constitutional Amendment is placed on the ballot
Springfield, IL – The Illinois House approved legislation State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) is sponsoring to eliminate the requirement for the Secretary of State to do a statewide mailing with information about proposed changes to the Illinois Constitution.
House Bill 348 directs the Secretary of State to publish a proposed Constitutional Amendment, the explanation of the amendment, the arguments for and against the amendment, and the form in which the amendment will appear on the ballot on a website controlled by the Secretary of State when the amendment is published in newspapers.
The bill eliminates the requirement to mail the information to people. Newspaper notices about the constitutional amendment would still be required.
“Eliminating the requirement to mail voters about proposed changes to the Constitution would save taxpayers about $1.3 million each time the Legislature approves a Constitutional Amendment to appear on the ballot,” McSweeney said.
“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. There is no need to add more cost to this process by sending information in the mail.”
In addition to HB 348, McSweeney is again sponsoring a Constitutional Amendment (HJRCA 5) to eliminate the Lieutenant Governor office. The measure would save taxpayers about $1.5 million annually.
In 2013, the Illinois House voted 83-28 to eliminate the Office of Lieutenant Governor.
Last year, the House overwhelmingly approved a similar McSweeney-sponsored Constitutional Amendment with 95 votes in favor of the measure and only 10 votes against it.
Unfortunately, one Republican Senator filed to become the chief sponsor of the measure in the Senate in a hostile move to ensure the Constitutional Amendment was never called for a vote.
“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.”
House Bill 348 passed the House on a vote of 108-0 and now moves to the Illinois Senate. State Senator Tom Cullerton is lead sponsor of the legislation in the Senate.