Special Comptroller election to be decided in Springfield

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SPRINGFIELD — Illinois lawmakers are in Springfield Wednesday to decide the future of the comptroller’s office.

Judy Baar Topinka was re-elected to that office, but she died December 10.

Under the Illinois Constitution, Republican Governor-elect Bruce Rauner has authority to appoint someone for Topinka’s four year term, but state democrats are fighting against that.

They want a special election for comptroller to be part of the general election in 2016.

Today, lawmakers could vote on legislation that would create that special election.

The proposal calls for a special election to fill a vacant statewide office if that vacancy is at least 28 months long. The bill has the support of Governor Pat Quinn, Senate President Tom Cullerton, and now House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Madigan had said that this was the governor’s issue to resolve. If passed, Rauner’s appointee, Leslie Munger, would only be comptroller for two years. She would then have to win re-election in 2016, to keep the job.

Democrats will have to push the legislation through quickly in order for Quinn to sign it into law.

Quinn is only governor for a few more days. Rauner will be sworn in on Monday.

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