Illinois Senate Democrats to investigate campus executive compensation

Review prompted by recent abuses

“The priorities for state universities and community colleges should be to educate our children, not betraying our constituents by handing out golden parachutes to administrators.There is an obvious need for reforms to the way they use taxpayer dollars to ensure institutions are advancing educational opportunities, not administrators’ pockets.”  - State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park)

052014 js 1043resizeSPRINGFIELD — In the wake of questionable executive severance deals at state universities and community colleges, the Illinois Senate’s Higher Education Committee is creating a fact-finding subcommittee to steer reform efforts and ensure tuition and tax dollars are used responsibly.

“Taxpayers are demanding to know how we compensate administrators, why we are compensating them and what safeguards we can put in place to end the type of abuses we’ve recently seen,” said Senator Bill Cunningham (D-Chicago), who heads the new Subcommittee on Executive Compensation.

The issue was thrust into the spotlight after the College of DuPage inked a more than $750,000 severance deal with president Robert Breuder to have him quit early. Nearly a year ago, Illinois State University cut a similar deal worth $480,000 with its president. The lavish deals come at a time when tuition and fees have nearly doubled over the past decade and the average Illinois college student is saddled with more than $28,000 in debt.

Read more: PRESS RELEASE-Illinois Senate Democrats to investigate campus executive compensation

SPRINGFIELD – GovernorBruce Rauner took office after a swearing-in ceremony at the Capitol on Monday as outgoing Governor Pat Quinn stepped aside.

“I look forward to the new energy that Governor Rauner will bring to the Capitol. I am optimistic that this will be a time of renewed bipartisanship and growth for Illinois,” State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) said.

“Governor Quinn has had a long career as a dedicated public servant and has been a progressive advocate for the people of Illinois and it was an honor to serve during his tenure,” Cullerton said.

Recently elected members of the General Assembly will be sworn in during ceremonies on Wednesday.

052714CM0950SPRINGFIELD – When voters go to the polls in November 2016 they could be picking who should finish the term that former Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka would have held until 2019.

The Illinois Senate approved a plan Thursday creating a special election that coincides with next year’s general election to let voters select a comptroller.

State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) voted for the special election.

“This legislation is about giving people the opportunity to elect their own officials. This law empowers voters and creates a way to address future vacancies,” Cullerton said.

Last month, Gov. Pat Quinn appointed Jerry Stermer to serve as comptroller until Topinka’s current term expires Jan. 12. Governor-elect Bruce Rauner announced earlier this week he will appoint former Unilever executive Leslie Munger once Rauner takes office.

Under the legislation, if the position of comptroller, attorney general, secretary of state or treasurer becomes vacant with more than 28 months remaining in the term, the governor can appoint a successor to serve through the first half of the four-year term.

A special election would coincide with the next regularly scheduled general election, in this case Nov. 8, 2016. During that election, voters can choose who will serve the remaining two years of the term.

This process is similar to the way Senate vacancies are filled.

The legislation, HB 4576, was approved by a 37-15 vote; it now goes to the House for approval.

SPRINGFIELD— State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) released the following statement following the death of Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka:

Judy Baar Topinka was one of the warmest, honest people in Illinois government and we will miss her. It says a lot that she had such a long, storied career and was still so well liked by people across the state. My prayers go out to her entire family.

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Welcome to the official website of Senator Tom Cullerton. Please fill out our contact form to contact Senator Cullerton directly or you may call either of our offices. We look forward to hearing from you.

District Office
338 S. Ardmore Ave.
Villa Park, IL 60181
P: (630) 903-6662
F: (630) 903-6643

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122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
P: (217) 782-9463