Senate bill would limit severance payouts to government executives

Democratic state Sen. Tom Cullerton of Villa Park has introduced a bill that would limit severance packages for public executives.

The Government Severance Pay Act would prevent public employees who are fired for misconduct from collecting a severance altogether and would restrict severance packages for other public executives to a maximum of 20 weeks' compensation.

Cullerton introduced the bill after a Better Government Association report outlining cases of golden parachutes in recent years that left Illinois taxpayers footing millions of dollars in payouts to make bad executives go away.

"It's time to get control of these huge buyouts for public executives and institute some best practices," Cullerton said. "Taxpayers deserve to have their hard-earned money protected."

"Time and time again," said BGA President and CEO David Greising, "government officials who are found abusing the public's trust are allowed to walk away not just unpunished, but, in fact, rewarded. The Government Severance Pay Act acknowledges that severance packages are a part of today's competitive employment market, while at the same time protecting taxpayers from six-figure giveaways."

In November, Des Plaines Elementary District 62 officials granted a $127,000 severance to former superintendent Floyd Williams Jr. following accusations he had sexually harassed employees, which he denied.

A separate bill introduced by state Rep. David McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican, and state Rep. Marty Moylan, a Des Plaines Democrat, would require local governments to provide public notice of payouts to those terminated amid sexual harassment claims.

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Floyd Williams Jr.
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