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updated: 1/31/2011 5:42 PM

Treasurer candidates would merge offices

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SPRINGFIELD -- The Republican candidates for Illinois treasurer and comptroller want to merge the two positions into a single financial office.

They say the merger would save about $12 million in rent and salary by eliminating duplication.

Comptroller candidate Judy Baar Topinka admitted Monday that it would be tough to change the state constitution to allow the merger. But she says it's not impossible.

The two separate offices were created 40 years ago to ensure one corrupt official couldn't embezzle or misspend tax dollars.

But Topinka and treasurer candidate Dan Rutherford say modern technology makes it easier to guard public money.

Democratic comptroller nominee David Miller has spoken against merging the offices, while treasurer candidate Robin Kelly recently endorsed it.

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