Lawmakers: Don't use state money for severance deals like Breuder's

Suburban Republicans are getting ready to unveil measures they say could prevent big buyouts like the $762,868 the College of DuPage board gave President Robert Breuder.

State Reps. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton and Ron Sandack of Downers Grove will be joined by other DuPage County lawmakers Monday when they announce the new legislation aimed at taxpayer-funded severance packages.

For starters, Sandack wants to ban boards from using state money to pay for severance deals like Breuder's.

"If local boards want to cut deals like this, they can, but they can only use local dollars," Sandack said.

Sandack also wants to move community college board candidates off the spring ballot, which they share with candidates for other local offices. Instead, he'd like college trustees to be elected every other November, during higher-profile elections, to increase voter turnout and interest in the races.

Ives wants to give taxpayers two weeks to see proposed contracts being offered to top public officials before boards can vote to accept them.

Ives has also called for a performance audit of COD's finances going back to 2011. The resolution to conduct the audit already has more than 50 bipartisan sponsors, Ives said.

Ives said these proposals are not final, and "not all of us have signed on to everyone else's bills." And there could be more plans announced Monday.

Democrats have gotten in on the act, too. State Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo wants to cut the amount of state money COD gets. State Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park wants to keep names like Breuder's off government buildings. And state Sen. Melinda Bush of Grayslake wants to cap the value of severance deals for public employees.

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