Deputy House Minority Leader Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) filed HJRCA 36 today to make state government more efficient and cost effective by eliminating the office of the Comptroller and moving the responsibilities to the office of the Treasurer.
Under Demmer’s proposal, the Treasurer would maintain the State’s central fiscal accounts and order payments into and out of state funds. The Treasurer would also be responsible for the safekeeping and investment of monies and securities as well as their disbursement. These functions are presently performed by two separate offices, the State Comptroller and the State Treasurer.
“Illinois taxpayers would be better served by having one office perform the duties of Comptroller and Treasurer,” Demmer said. “Reducing state government’s footprint and consolidating functions would achieve savings for taxpayers and streamline the fiscal operations of Illinois in a meaningful way. The late Judy Baar Topinka, who served separate terms in both offices, advocated for combining Comptroller and Treasurer into one position. We can honor her memory and reform an inefficient Madigan-era relic by acting now to let the people of Illinois have the final say on approving this reform later this year.”
The Illinois State Constitution adopted in 1970 created separate offices of Comptroller and Treasurer. Combining them requires passage of a constitutional amendment, which needs a three-fifths majority vote of the General Assembly to place the question on the next General Election ballot for Illinois voters to approve.
Representative Demmer has consistently filed legislation to combine the two offices, but has been blocked by Democrats unwillingness to advance common sense reform proposals. In the 101st General Assembly Demmer filed HJRCA 22; in the 100th General Assembly he filed HJRCA 25; and in the 99th General Assembly he was sponsor of Leader Durkin’s effort to combine the offices in HJRCA 3.
Several neighboring states have already successfully combined the operations of separate fiscal offices for efficiency and savings including Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan. In Illinois the merger has been estimated to save taxpayers up to $12 million annually and is supported by government efficiency advocates like The Civic Federation.
Representative Demmer serves Illinois’ 90th District which includes portions of Lee, Ogle, DeKalb and LaSalle Counties.