Plan to merge Illinois treasurer and comptroller stalled in legislature

September 15, 2011

by Amanda Vinicky

(AP File/Seth Perlman)
Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka

The plan to merge the Illinois treasurer and comptroller's office is stuck in the state House of Representatives. Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, both Republicans, say combining their offices will save millions of dollars. Topinka blamed Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan for stalling the plan.

"There are ways to save money, which in this case are perfectly harmless, they wouldn't affect anybody's pocketbook, but we would have the extra 12 million," Topinka said. "That would sure help."

Madigan's spokesman says the proposal needs more safeguards. Illinois used to have one fiscal office, the state auditor, but a scandal in the 1950's caused constitutional drafters to split the office to prevent future problems.