010815CM0326SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Senate approved a plan Thursday creating a special election that would let voters select a comptroller to finish the term Judy Baar Topinka would have held until 2019.

State Senator James Clayborne (D-Belleville) voted for the special election.

“Letting voters decide on this vacancy is the most sensible solution, elected officials ought to be elected,” Clayborne said.

After Topinka’s death, Gov. Pat Quinn appointed Jerry Stermer to fill the vacancy until Topinka’s current term expires Jan. 12. Earlier this week, Governor-elect Bruce Rauner announced 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.

The 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.

Category: Frontpage

SPRINGFIELD— State Senator James Clayborne (D-Belleville) released the following statement following the death of Illinois State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka:
Illinois has lost one of its most dedicated, engaged and authentic public servants. Judy Baar Topinka’s life is an example of the kind of impact a caring, committed individual can have on the wellbeing of an entire state. She was a friend and I’ll miss her.

Category: Frontpage

ClayborneFloor1SPRINGFIELD— The Illinois Senate approved a plan Wednesday to raise the state’s minimum wage.

State Senator James Clayborne (D-Belleville) voted for the increase, raising the minimum wage to $9 per hour on July 1, 2015 and then another 50 cents every year until it reaches $11 an hour on July 1, 2019.

Illinois’ current minimum wage is $8.25 per hour, and it was last increased in 2006.

“We need to raise the minimum wage – not just because it is popular – because working people and families deserve a fair wage for their work,” Clayborne said.

The proposal that passed the Senate also includes a tax credit for businesses with less than 50 employees to ease the transition to the higher rate.

The plan, House Bill 4733, passed the Senate by a 39-18 vote.

Category: Frontpage



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