Treasurer, Comptroller Back Down From Plan To Unify Offices

CHICAGO (WBBM) — Illinois’ state treasurer and comptroller have given up, at least for now, on the idea of unifying their offices.

Treasurer Dan Rutherford and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka both ran on platforms of unifying the offices, which would require an amendment to the Illinois constitution. They say the time for a comptroller has come and gone, and hoped to get the amendment question on the 2012 ballot. But House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) has effectively killed the bill by burying it in the House Rules Committee.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Bob Roberts reports

“It was a unanimous vote (in the Senate),” Rutherford said. “It went to the House and did not move.”

Madigan spokesman Steve Brown said the offices are radically different, and that anyone who has spent time around them — Topinka has held both jobs — should know that.

The comptroller’s office is responsible for keeping track of state revenue and ordering payments from state accounts. The treasurer’s office is responsible for investing state funds.

Rutherford said in the 40 years since the comptroller’s office was created, the state has added an auditor general and said computerization today keeps track of revenues and disbursements efficiently.

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