JBT010815Today, State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) voted to maintain the strength of democracy in Illinois by allowing voters to choose their representation, should an unexpected vacancy arise in a statewide office.

“We have enacted a number of government accountability and transparency measures since I came into office in an effort to change the stigma attached to state government and regain the trust of our citizens,” Bertino-Tarrant said.  “This vote reflects my commitment to working for my constituents.”

House Bill 4576, which passed the Senate today, creates a special election for state comptroller in 2016. With the recent passing of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka the legislation will allow voters to select a new comptroller at the next general election. The special election is a solution that allows voters to pick their statewide leaders as quickly as possible at no additional cost to taxpayers.

Bertino-Tarrant also supports legislation to combine the offices of treasurer and comptroller by constitutional amendment, which could save an estimated $12 million a year.

“Combining these two offices can save the state millions of dollars every year,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “As we continue to work to save money and reduce waste and redundancy, this measure should certainly be at the top of that list.”

Combining the two state offices would require a constitutional amendment, which means that voters would need to approve doing so through a ballot referendum in the 2016 general election.  Bertino-Tarrant believes it is important to give voters that opportunity.

“Today’s special session was called to ensure that the people of Illinois got the voice and vote they deserve,” she said. “I look forward to working toward giving them that same voice and vote on the government consolidation issue when we come back to Springfield for regular session.”

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