Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced he has called lawmakers back to Springfield on January 8th for a special session.
Lawmakers will vote on whether to hold an election in 2016 to pick a new comptroller to serve out part of the term left vacant following the death of Judy Baar Topinka.
“Judy Baar Topinka's passing has not only left us heartbroken – the people of Illinois have been left without their elected representative in the Comptroller's Office," Quin said in a statement. “Nobody but Judy Baar Topinka was elected to do this job. That's why it's so important that voters have the soonest possible opportunity to elect their Comptroller. Holding a special election is the right thing to do."
House Republican leader Jim Durkin said, "To me this is a power play and I think it’s unfortunate if this going to happen. Trust me, if there is law passed, it’s going to be protracted litigation and that would be unfortunate and I think it really sends a terrible message on how this Democratic controlled General Assembly is going to work with Governor-elect Rauner.”
The Governor-elect released a statement saying in part, "There is a real likelihood that a statute mandating a special election would violate the Constitution and result in costly litigation and uncertainty for Illinois taxpayers.”
A spokesperson for House Speaker, Michael Madigan, says the issue is an executive department matter that he hopes the Governor and Governor-Elect can work out together.
Quinn has yet to name someone to serve out the remainder of Topinka’s current term.