- Published: Thursday, January 08, 2015 04:41 PM
SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved legislation Thursday establishing guidelines to deal with vacancies for statewide offices. This legislation creates a special election letting voters select a new comptroller to finish the term Judy Baar Topinka would have held until 2019.
State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill) supported the proposal.
“This is a unique situation where an official could serve a four-year term without being elected. Letting voters pick our comptroller during a special election is the most sensible option,” Manar said.
After Topinka’s death last month, Gov. Pat Quinn appointed Jerry Stermer to serve as comptroller until the current term expires Jan. 12. Earlier this week, Governor-elect Bruce Rauner announced he plans to appoint former Unilever executive Leslie Munger once Rauner takes office.
Under the legislation, if the position of comptroller, attorney general, secretary of state or treasurer becomes vacant with more than 28 months remaining in the term, the governor can appoint a successor to serve through the first half of the four-year term.
The special election would coincide with the next regularly scheduled general election, in this case Nov. 8, 2016. During that election, voters can choose who will serve the remaining two years of the term.
This process is similar to the way State Senate vacancies are filled.
The legislation, HB 4576, was approved by a 37-15 vote; it now goes to the House for approval.