Judy Baar Topinka

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

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.


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.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Illinois political leaders are remembering Judy Baar Topinka.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn says he's "heartbroken" about the death of Republican state Comptroller. Topinka's office says she died early Wednesday after suffering a stroke. Quinn called her "a trailblazer in every sense of the word" and a "force of nature."

Gov.-Elect Bruce Rauner, a fellow Republican, remembered Topinka for her "magnetic, one-of-a-kind personality." He said she cared "about what was best for the people" of Illinois.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Expect the state to be nine billion dollars behind in paying its bills by the end of the year. That was the grim message State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka had for a gathering of not-for-profit agencies Monday at Rockford University. She’s enlisting their help to find ways to ease the financial pressure on groups that depend on state money to serve their clients. 


Update on 7/12/13: Workers at state parks and fairs will get paid after all, according to Brad Hahn, spokesman for the Illinois comptroller. He says the portion of the budget affecting them has been signed by Governor Quinn, so the threat of late paychecks for those workers is over. 

Tens of thousands of state workers in Illinois are at risk of missing their next paycheck. That's because Governor Pat Quinn hasn't signed a bill that covers certain elements of the new state budget.

Legal Questions Raised After Quinn's Budget Veto

Jul 11, 2013

Legal questions surround Governor Pat Quinn's move to suspend pay for Illinois lawmakers. On Wednesday, he vetoed that portion of the state budget.

state of Illinois

A new report from the state's comptroller finds Illinois' budget hangs in the balance of debt and need. Republican Judy Baar Topinka says companies, organizations and individuals hired by the state will have to wait to get paid.


Non-profit organizations in Illinois are being urged to call the state comptroller, if delayed payments from Springfield are threatening their operations. Comptroller Judy Baar-Topinka is touring the state, urging social-service providers to reach out to her office. 

While in Rockford Monday, Topinka said she'll do all she can to help these groups, but made no promises.