SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Tom Demmer is making another go at combining the offices of the state treasurer and comptroller.
Demmer filed new legislation to eliminate the state comptroller’s office and consolidate responsibilities with the state treasurer, a position the Dixon Republican is running for against Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs.
Deputy House Minority Leader Demmer filed HJRCA 36 Wednesday “to make state government more efficient and cost effective,” he said in a news release.
According to the bill, 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 in one office rather than two.
“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 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.
It’s not the first time Demmer has tried to put the question on the ballot.
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 House Republican Leader Jim Durkin’s effort to combine the offices in HJRCA 3.
Demmer referenced former constitutional officer-holder Judy Baar Topinka and former House Speaker Michael Madigan in his comments.
“The late Judy Baar Topinka, who served separate terms in both offices, advocated for combining Comptroller and Treasurer into one position,” he said. “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.”
Demmer announced earlier this month that he’s running for state treasurer, and he’ll be on the Republican ballot for the June 28 primary election.
He has served Illinois’ 90th District since 2013, which includes portions of Lee, Ogle, DeKalb and La Salle Counties.