News Local/State

Frerichs Favors Merging Comptroller And Treasurer


Illinois’ incoming treasurer is promoting an alternative to holding a special election for a new comptroller in 2016.

Mike Frerichs says Illinois should eliminate the comptroller’s office entirely at that point, and let him, as treasurer, take over the duties.

Legislators on Thursday are set to debate what to do about the vacancy in the comptroller’s office created when Judy Baar Topinka died in mid-December, shortly before she was to begin a new term that would have lasted through 2018.

Governor Pat Quinn called them back to Springfield to consider holding an election for comptroller two years early, in 2016. 

The rationale behind the idea is that voters should get to decide who should hold office at the next reasonable opportunity, rather than having someone who was appointed comptroller stay on for Topinka's entire four-year term.

A measure filed by Senate President John Cullerton goes beyond that, though. It'd also create a new procedure for vacancies in the offices of Comptroller, Attorney General, Secretary of State and Treasurer.

The governor would still fill the vacancies - but if there are more than 28 months left in the term, the appointment would only last until the next general election.