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Illinois candidates propose combining treasurer, comptroller

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August 25, 2010

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SPRINGFIELD, Illinois: All four candidates running for Illinois treasurer and comptroller in 2010 support a merger of the two positions. Some said they expect to see a measure on the ballot as soon as 2012. Candidates include Republicans Dan Rutherford (treasurer candidate) and Judy Baar Topinka (comptroller candidate), as well as Democrats David Miller (comptroller candidate) and Robin Kelly (treasurer candidate). Rutherford and Topinka argue that the a merger of the two positions could save the state approximately $12 million. Kelly agrees that "Leaders must pursue every avenue to save money." Miller had previously announced that he was opposed to the proposed merger, but in August 2010 he said he was in favor of the idea due to the possible savings in funds.[1]

Supporters of the merger argue that the positions' duties overall and the merger of the two positions could save the state millions of dollars. The treasurer is responsible for maintaining the state funds and acting as the state's bank. The comptroller maintains the state's central fiscal accounts, ordering payments into the treasury, and issuing warrants against any funds held by the treasurer.

In order to merge the two positions, a constitutional amendment must be adopted by either the legislature or a public vote by the people. The issue has been widely discussed for the approximately the last 15 years, according to reports, but has never been approved. In 1995 legislation died because of inability to agree on a name. Legislation was proposed in 1998, 2000, 2004 but all were shot down. Both Topinka and Rutherford said they expect to see a measure on the 2012 ballot and implementation in 2014.[2]

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