Illinois Governor-elect Bruce Rauner kicked off a statewide tour Friday in Byron. He told reporters he was disappointed with the legislature's decision this week to approve a special election in 2016 to replace late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.
Rauner says he would have preferred a constitutional amendment.
"I think they made a bad decision. I don't support it, but that's not one I want to really spend time fighting about. I want to focus on the priorities that really impact families," Rauner said.
Chances the state will hold a special election for comptroller in 2016 have improved, now that the Illinois House Speaker has signaled his support. Lawmakers will be back in Springfield for special session today to vote on it.
Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman, Steve Brown, says Madigan will support giving voters a say, instead of allowing an appointee to take over long-term.
Brown had previously only said that Madigan believed the future of the comptroller's office was a matter to be settled by the executive branch.
Illinois lawmakers are due back in Springfield later this week. Outgoing Governor Pat Quinn called a special session on Jan. 8 to discuss an election to replace late comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.
A legal analysis from Illinois’ Attorney General urged a special election in 2016. The special session is intended to get the ball rolling. Representative Bob Pritchard is a Republican from Hinckley. He says the goal of the extra meeting is costly, and in his opinion, unconstitutional:
Gov. Pat Quinn called a special legislative session for Jan. 8, 2015, to create a special election in 2016 for Illinois Comptroller. Incumbent Judy Baar Topinka died last week after winning re-election in November.
A public memorial service for the late Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is scheduled for next week. The service will be held Wednesday morning at the Operating Engineers' Local 150 headquarters in Countryside.
Topinka died unexpectedly this week after complications from a stroke. Fellow state leaders, colleagues and family are scheduled to attend.
Meanwhile, Illinois officials are trying to figure out who has the power to name the state’s next comptroller and for how long.
Illinois' top fiscal officer says state agencies need about one billion dollars to get through the remaining fiscal year. Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the state needs more money for programs such as child welfare and workers' compensation.
The city of Dixon may be out 20-million dollars more than originally thought in the case against its former comptroller. Federal prosecutors have now charged Rita Crundwell with stealing 53-million dollars over the past 22 years. In the original complaint against Crundwell, she was accused of embezzling an estimated 30-million since 2006 to “support her lavish lifestyle.”