Illinois senators spent some time during Thursday's special session discussing the idea of combining the state's two elected financial officers: comptroller and treasurer. The idea, which lawmakers would have to approve as a constitutional amendment for the state's voters to consider, actually has passed the Senate before. The House did not take it up. But there's new light on it, now that Judy Baar Topinka – who was completing a term as comptroller and earlier served three terms as treasurer – has passed away.
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“Things move when the time is right in this town,” said a co-sponsor, State Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), musing that perhaps the bill will have more success in 2015. “What I'd like to do,” said the other co-sponsor, State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago), “is explore a way to achieve both” the purported $12 million in savings and the checks and balances the 1970 Constitution's separation of the offices was supposed to achieve. Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, in a statement decrying the 2016 special election for comptroller that Thursday's special session set out, said he's in favor of “Judy's Amendment.”