Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Durkin announces support *** Legislation surfaces to get rid of Tollway board members, clean up ethics and raise caps on state agency director salaries
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*** UPDATED x1 - Durkin announces support *** Legislation surfaces to get rid of Tollway board members, clean up ethics and raise caps on state agency director salaries

Monday, Jan 7, 2019

* I told subscribers this was coming on Friday afternoon and again today. From the Daily Herald

State lawmakers could consider legislation in next week’s lameduck session aimed at ending the terms of Illinois tollway directors in the wake of controversy at the agency.

The move could allow Democratic Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker to appoint replacements after he is sworn in Jan. 14.

Asked for reaction, a spokeswoman for Pritzker said bills could be introduced next week but did not elaborate on the content.

Five tollway directors have terms ending in May, and sources told the Daily Herald the bills could aim to terminate those appointments, as well as that of Chairman Robert Schillerstrom, immediately.

* As I told subscribers earlier today, that language has now surfaced. From SB1298, Floor Amendment 2

Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the term of office of each director of the Authority serving on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly, other than the Governor and the Secretary of the Department of Transportation, is abolished and a vacancy in each office is created on the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly. The Governor shall appoint directors to the Authority for the vacancies created under this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly by February 28, 2019. Directors whose terms are abolished under this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly shall be eligible for 15 reappointment.

* The Pritzker team summarized the bill this afternoon…

• Ends the tenure of the current members of the Illinois Toll Highway Authority. New directors must be appointed by February 28, 2019.
• Requires the Board’s by-laws direct members to avoid potential conflicts of interest.
• Requires that a process to override the Chairman of the Board’s veto be spelled out in the by-laws, and consistent with statute.

* Jordan Abudayyeh, spokeswoman for the transition…

The Governor-elect’s administration is moving swiftly to restore the public’s trust in the integrity of the government, starting with the Illinois Tollway – where too little transparency and unethical behavior is unacceptable. With the construction season around the corner, it’s critical that billions worth of road-building contracts aren’t awarded to political insiders and the Tollway needs a fresh start to move forward with rebuilding Illinois.

* From another Daily Herald story

New Illinois tollway bylaws no longer include a process for the board to overturn a veto by the chairman.

The bylaws also omitted language that previously included “potential conflicts of interest” as something board directors should avoid.

* I also told subscribers about this proposal, which surfaced today. From SB3531, Floor Amendment 3

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, for terms beginning after the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 100th General Assembly, the annual salary of the director or secretary and assistant director or assistant secretary of each department created under Section 5-15 shall be an amount equal to 15% more than the annual salary of the respective officer in effect as of December 31, 2018. The calculation of the 2018 salary base for this adjustment shall not include any cost of living adjustments, as authorized by Senate Joint Resolution 192 of the 86th General Assembly, for the period beginning July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2019. Beginning July 1, 2019 and each July 1 thereafter, the directors, secretaries, assistant directors, and assistant secretaries shall receive an increase in salary based on a cost of living adjustment as authorized by Senate Joint Resolution 192 of the 86th General Assembly.

* Jordan Abudayyeh…

The past four years have been destructive to Illinois, and it will take talented people to make progress for our state. Many critical positions – including those that protect our safety and security – no longer have competitive salaries, and we are moving to bring them in line with their peers around the country to attract talent.

* Explanation…

• Provides for an immediate 15% raise to agency directors and assistant directors at key agencies, so that the state can attract the talent necessary to turn put Illinois back on track.
• Provides a mechanism by which we can, with the assistance and consent of the legislature, keep compensation competitive and the state on track.
• The bill will not require a new appropriation.

Click here for examples of compensation disparity between selected states.

* House Republican Leader Jim Durkin talked about both bills on Rick Pearson’s radio show yesterday. He supported the concepts, but wanted to see the language before fully committing.

*** UPDATE *** From Leader Durkin’s office…

Leader Durkin will be supporting both legislative requests from Governor-elect Pritzker as a gesture of good faith moving forward into the 101st General Assembly.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

16 Comments
  1. - Fixer - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:41 pm:

    Not often I agree with Durkin, but I’m curious which agencies are considered “key” in this case. Guess we get to wait and see.


  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:45 pm:

    ===I’m curious which agencies are considered “key”===

    Read the amendment.


  3. - Montrose - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    So, a governor from one party proposes changes that will make it easier for him to govern, and a leader from another party supports those changes. That sounds weirdly functional. I’m not sure what to do with these feelings.


  4. - Rich Miller - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 1:55 pm:

    ===That sounds weirdly functional===

    Yeah, it does.


  5. - Fixer - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    Sorry Rich, missed the hyperlink.


  6. - PublicServant - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:07 pm:

    That’s good news. What does profit and/or Ives have to say about this fraternization with the enemy?


  7. - anon2 - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:12 pm:

    In addition to the new board and chairman, one wonders how many top administrators, such as the chief of operations, will be out the door in this shakeup.


  8. - driveby - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:41 pm:

    If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. That’s what many GOP legislators have decided, especially Durkin.


  9. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:42 pm:

    When will we see legislation from the General Assembly to reform the Chicago City Council? Democratic legislators are eerily silent on recent revelations.

    The General Assembly can’t wait to start filing bills on all sorts of matters, but when it comes to Chicago Aldermen they are amazingly preoccupied.


  10. - Montrose - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 2:48 pm:

    “When will we see legislation from the General Assembly to reform the Chicago City Council? Democratic legislators are eerily silent on recent revelations.

    The General Assembly can’t wait to start filing bills on all sorts of matters, but when it comes to Chicago Aldermen they are amazingly preoccupied.”

    And why would changes to the Chicago City Council be within the jurisdiction of the Illinois General Assembly?


  11. - City Zen - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:04 pm:

    “Many critical positions – including those that protect our safety and security – no longer have competitive salaries, and we are moving to bring them in line with their peers around the country to attract talent.”

    So they’re looking hire people outside these agencies?


  12. - Just Me 2 - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    Montrose — the General Assembly passed legislation when there were scandals at the City of Dixon, Metra, and the College of DuPage. If they can insert themselves there, they can insert themselves in Chicago. But they don’t….the Democratic legislators don’t want to upset the corrupt power of balance with the City Council.


  13. - Demoralized - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 5:40 pm:

    ==So they’re looking hire people outside these agencies?==

    Read the bill. This bill is about agency directors. So, yes, they are looking to hire from the outside.


  14. - wordslinger - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 8:08 pm:

    –The Governor-elect’s administration is moving swiftly to restore the public’s trust in the integrity of the government, starting with the Illinois Tollway – where too little transparency and unethical behavior is unacceptable.–

    Yeah, Jordan, you might want to run that one through the typewriter again. You’ve got one too many “un” prefixes there — UNless, “UNethical behavior is UNacceptable.”

    But if “transparency” is the goal, why don’t you just fill us in on why everyone is so hot to get rid of this crowd, first thing?

    No weasel-words, please. Walk the walk.

    Don’t get cute, right out of the box.


  15. - Triumphant - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 8:45 pm:

    Potential conflicts of rules are a joke because they never apply to subcontractors. PR firms with members who have relationships with GA members won’t be touch until the conflict rules apply to them too. Handing out PR firm contracts through QBS for Tollway is a joke and illegal. What IDOT can do isn’t what Tollway should be doing.


  16. - Generic Drone - Monday, Jan 7, 19 @ 11:37 pm:

    Raises all around for the politically conected. Is this Pritzker or Rauner? Sounds just like the last administration.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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