SPRINGFIELD – The following statement was released by Senate President John J. Cullerton on the inauguration of Governor Bruce Rauner:

“Today is a new day in Illinois. While some challenges remain, I am hopeful that our progress will continue. It is with that hope that I welcome Bruce Rauner to state leadership as our new governor. I look forward to working together with him to build a better Illinois.

I would also like to recognize the leadership of Pat Quinn. I thank him for his service and his commitment to Illinois. I wish him all the best success in his future adventures.”

The following statement was released by Senate President John J. Cullerton following the legislature’s passage of legislation to allow for voters to vote in a special election for vacancies of critical statewide offices:

“While Judy can never be replaced, Illinois voters should be allowed to elect a comptroller of their choosing in 2016.   

Legislative action will ensure that under certain circumstances the people of this state have the opportunity to elect constitutional officers in a no cost manner that is consistent with special elections for Illinois senators.  

The loss of Topinka has also revived discussion and debate about proposals to consolidate the offices of comptroller and treasurer. I support these plans now as I have in the past. I look forward to working with Senator Kwame Raoul and others to advance this measure in the new General Assembly.

While discussions of consolidating office in 2019 are warranted, action on that issue does not address the need for Illinois voters to elect a constitutional officer of their choosing in 2016, or in the future if we find ourselves in a similar situation. This fact speaks to the necessity of this law for a special election.

I trust that we can continue these discussions in a manner that respects the voters and the memory of Judy Baar Topinka in a way that is constitutional, practical and fair.”

The legislation is House Bill 4576.