Rauner signs COD-inspired bill to open up severance deals

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation Thursday aimed at making severance agreements for government employees more transparent.

The new law says any government severance deal must be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. It was inspired in part by the College of DuPage $763,000 severance package given to President Robert Breuder this year, said state Sen. Pamela Althoff, a McHenry Republican.

Althoff said the new law closes a "loophole" that helped keep some agreements private. The law now says any government agreement that exchanges payment for an employee leaving is subject to the public records law.

Severance packages have been a priority for lawmakers since the COD board voted for Breuder's severance deal in January.

At the time, COD Faculty Association President Glenn Hansen criticized the board for

not sharing details of Breuder's buyout with the public in advance of the vote.

"Increasing transparency and restoring public trust in Illinois government have been my top priorities since day one and I am proud to have sponsored this new law," Althoff said in a statement.

Rauner signed the legislation with no public comment, and a DuPage-inspired proposal to limit future community college severance packages still awaits his signature or veto.

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