Wheeler Sponsors Resolution to Constitutionally Merge Comptroller and Treasurer

CRYSTAL LAKE – Representative Barbara Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) is sponsoring House Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 3 (HJRCA3), which eliminates the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer and merges them into one office of the Comptroller of the Treasury. Following the untimely passing of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, there has been a renewed vigor in the effort to merge the offices of the state’s check writer and investment manager to tackle the fiscal crisis facing the state, a cause Topinka herself championed.

“The state stands to save an estimated $12 million annually by merging the Comptroller and Treasurer into one office,” said Wheeler. “This merger is a no-brainer given the calamitous situation our state’s finances have been left in by the last administration. Gov. Rauner, and newly appointed Comptroller Munger, support a merger of these offices to help curb our fiscal crisis. Judy Baar Topinka was a proponent of this for years and I believe there could be no better way to honor her memory than by finally doing this.”

Since Topinka’s passing, there has been a great deal of debate over how to handle the entirety of the four-year term she was elected to last November. Last week, former Gov. Quinn called a special session and legislation to hold a special Comptroller election in 2016 was hastily rushed through the House and Senate on party line votes. This is almost certain to cause a legal battle and potentially be struck down given the state constitution does not allow for such action concerning Constitutional Officers, but rather gives the power of appointment to the Governor. Given the costs of a legal battle, and the budget savings from a merger of the offices, this effort has the potential to gain ground in the new General Assembly.

“Under current law, our state prevents the person who invests our funds from being able to write the checks for the money they manage,” said Wheeler. “There are several states that already operate under a merged model and given the major cost savings to the state budget, I feel this is something we must do.”

The House Republican Caucus is standing united behind HJRCA3, with every member of the caucus signing onto the resolution.


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