Illinois Senate committee to debate combining Comptroller, Treasurer offices

February 14, 2011

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(WBEZ/Tony Arnold)
Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford

Illinois legislators are preparing to debate a plan that would combine two elected offices into one. The proposal would change the state Constitution, combining the Treasurer's office and the Comptroller's office. Both deal with the finances of Illinois: the treasurer with investments and the comptroller is in charge of dispersing the state's money.

The new Republican Comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka, is on board with the plan. And so is the new Republican Treasurer, Dan Rutherford, who said he hasn't thought about which one of the two would be out of a job if the offices were combined.

"That's not a Judy and Dan issue," Rutherford said. "This is a bigger issue than it is for - it's about changing the government. If this gets down to that, we'll make that decision together when the time comes."

Rutherford said the merger would save the state $12 million a year and eliminate about 50 positions.

A state senate committee is scheduled to discuss the merger Wednesday. Two Democrats and two Republicans are sponsoring the legislation.