Will Rauner sign College of DuPage-inspired reform?

  • College of DuPage President Robert Breuder's severance package inspired state legislation that new will be weighed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

      College of DuPage President Robert Breuder's severance package inspired state legislation that new will be weighed by Gov. Bruce Rauner. Scott Sanders | Staff Photographer

 
 

Gov. Bruce Rauner will get the final say whether the $763,000 College of DuPage severance deal for former President Robert Breuder will lead to caps on similar deals statewide in the future.

The Illinois House approved a proposal to limit community college buyout packages and the length of presidents' contracts today, prepping the plan for Rauner's desk two weeks after the same lawmakers rejected it.

The governor's office didn't commit either way.

"The governor will carefully consider any legislation that crosses his desk," Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly said.

The legislation, from state Rep. Jeanne Ives, a Wheaton Republican, was a direct response to the Breuder situation and one of the showpiece proposals to try to limit similar deals in the future.

It would limit severance deals to one year of salary and benefits and limit contract lengths to four years.

Some lawmakers two weeks ago worried the plan limited the recruiting powers of colleges across Illinois and would punish officials for what Ives considered misdeeds at a single school.

"Why would we not let elected officials do the job they were elected to do?" state Rep. Lou Lang, a Skokie Democrat, said.

While those arguments resurfaced today, the end vote was a different result. The House approved by a 73-34 vote, and the Senate had already approved weeks ago.

"This is happening around the state, and these trustees are not doing it in the light of day. And the taxpayers deserve reasonable protections," Ives said.

Previously, the House directed Illinois' top auditor to conduct a sweeping probe of College of DuPage's operations.

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