Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, still trying to make himself relevant on his way out the door, has called a special legislative session for Jan. 8 - four days before incoming governor Bruce Rauner takes over.
The stated reason is so the people can elect a replacement for Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, who died before her second term began. Illinois’ Constitution provides for the appointment of a replacement . But come on, there’s no urgency for lawmakers to take up this matter. The soonest a special election could occur is fall 2016. This is all about Quinn poking Rauner in the eye and short-circuiting his power. So what if a special legislative session costs broke Illinois $50,000 or so?
Quinn has ensured that the people will remember him for this stunt, all right, but not in a good way.
If lawmakers want to let the people vote in 2016 about the comptroller’s office, it should be about combining this job and the treasurer’s job into one, which would save the taxpayers an estimated $12 million annually. Once upon a time, Quinn would have been championing that cause, not pulling this embarrassing, expensive grandstanding.