Difference between revisions of "Judy Baar Topinka"

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Revision as of 05:34, 20 December 2011

Judy Baar Topinka
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Illinois Comptroller
In office
January 10, 2011 - Present
Term ends
January 12, 2015
Years in position 4
Base salary$135,700
Elections and appointments
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Next generalNovember 4, 2014
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Illinois Treasurer
1994 - 2006
Illinois State Senate
1984 - 1994
Illinois House of Representatives
1980 - 1984
Bachelor'sNorthwestern University
Date of birthJanuary 16, 1944
Place of birthRiverside, Illinois
Office website
Judy Baar Topinka (b. January 16, 1944) is the Illinois state comptroller. She has served since January 2011, and was formerly Illinois Treasurer.



Topinka and Illinois Treasurer-elect Dan Rutherford said they plan to flex their muscle as the state’s fiscal officers, with an aim at Gov. Pat Quinn’s borrowing. Quinn has called borrowing one of his “budget pillars,” yet the state treasurer and comptroller must sign-off on short term borrowing, according to Illinois state law requires.

“I have a number of questions about any type of short term borrowing,” Topinka said. “What will the money be used for, how long will it be out, and is there money for the state to pay it back?”

Topinka said she will not issue blank checks to the governor. Rutherford thinks he has a mandate to be tough and that voters picked Republicans to hold the fiscal offices of the state for a reason.

“[One] thing that I think is going to be impactful is to have people who are willing to articulate what may be a differing opinion on the finances of the state.”

Rutherford said that not all borrowing is bad, but he does worry about Illinois’ mounting debt and the state’s ability to repay what it borrows.[1]

Expired nominations

Eric Madiar, chief legal counsel to Senate President John Cullerton, sent a letter to Baar Topinka in early January 2011, pointing out that 38 gubernatorial nominations expired with the closing of the previous General Assembly, and therefore should not be paid a salary or expenses.

Fifteen salaried and 23 unsalaried positions were up in the air in January 2011, including those of interim Illinois State Police Director Jonathon Monken and interim Illinois Commerce Commission Chair Manuel Flores.

“We in the new Senate cannot take action on that old paperwork. There is no paperwork supporting those individuals to be in office today,” said Madiar.[2]



Topinka won election as Comptroller in the November 2, 2010 election.[3]

Illinois Comptroller (2010)
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Judy Baar Topinka (R) 1,927,139 52.62%
David E. Miller (D) 1,497,263 40.88%
Julie Fox (L) 121,068 3.31%
R. Erika Schafer (G) 116,712 3.19%

Campaign donors


In 2010 Topinka collected $981,408 in donations.[4]

Listed below are the top 5 contributors to her campaign.

Donor Amount
James N. Pritzker $105,000
Illinois Education Association $40,253
AFSCME Illinois Council 31 $30,000
Pan American Bank $14,000
Illinois Hospital and Health Systems Association $13,000

Criticism for raises

Topinka, along with Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, came under criticism in September 2011 for giving pay raises during a fiscal crisis. Topinka gave 56 employees raises of at least 3 percent and several employees raises up to 15 percent. Rutherford gave out 19 raises averaging 16 percent increases. The issue came to light by an analysis of payroll records by the Better Government Association, a Chicago nonprofit group.[5]

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
Illinois Comptroller
Succeeded by