Years of partisan in-fighting that brought the legislative process to a veritable standstill and the General Assembly has a lot of work to do to find answers to the many problems facing Illinois. Having battled for six years to keep our state on course in a rudderless ship, we are now asking the Governor to step aside. The nature and severity of the federal allegations will make it impossible for him to participate effectively in our efforts to chart a new direction for our state.
IF GOVERNOR DIGS IN HIS HEELS, IMPEACHMENT IS NEXT OPTION
Impeachment proceeding would have to begin in the House, and Representatives must vote by a simple majority to impeach the Governor, before the Senate could consider the proposal. The Senate would then have to hold a trial presided over by the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court, where evidence in favor and against the Governor would be presented. Following the trial, the senators would have to convict the Governor by a two-thirds majority vote in order to oust Blagojevich from office.
In response to numerous inquiries, the Senate Republican Caucus has established a special Web site – http://www.impeachment.senategop.net – to provide information about the process of impeachment. The site explains the background and procedures for impeachment and trial, discusses the Illinois Constitution’s provisions for impeachment and even looks at the Senate Rules adopted in 1833, the last time there was an impeachment trial in the Illinois Senate.
GOVERNOR COULD ALSO BE REMOVED BY SUPREME COURT
If impeachment does not move forward, another option would be for the Illinois Supreme Court to become involved. The Attorney General would ask the Supreme Court to begin an inquest into the Governor’s ability to serve. However, this particular process of removing a Governor has never been undertaken and no one is certain how that process would work or how long it would take.
ARREST BRINGS RECENT DECISIONS INTO QUESTION
Because of the nature of charges pending against the Governor, every decision made by his Administration should be reexamined – the closure of Illinois’ parks and historic sites, the proposed closure of the Pontiac Correctional Facility, and the proposed move of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s traffic safety division from Springfield to Harrisburg. These proposals have been heavily criticized and the Administration has failed to offer any convincing evidence that the decisions were made for sound public policy reasons.