Thanks, in part, to your help and support, the Illinois House of Representatives has approved SB 3604, the Government Severance Pay Act, with overwhelming bipartisan support, 114-1. That vote follows unanimous approval in the Illinois Senate. Now the bill to curb exorbitant severance packages heads to the Governor’s desk for his consideration.

Should Gov. Bruce Rauner sign SB 3604 into law, it will end the practice of awarding expensive severance packages to public executives who are asked to leave their jobs under questionable circumstances. The legislation gives governments in Illinois the ability to remain competitive while eliminating abuses that fuel taxpayer distrust.

SB 3604 will stop employees fired for misconduct from collecting a severance altogether. It will limit severance for other public executives to a maximum of 20 weeks’ compensation.

The Better Government Association’s Policy & Civic Engagement Team drafted and pushed the bill’s passage after our research found at least a dozen examples of six-figure severance deals awarded to public executives to go away. The bill won the support of people across Illinois. 261 of you responded to our action alert, urging your state representatives to vote for the legislation. Along the way, the bill gained 26 House sponsors and 8 Senate sponsors.

State Sen. Tom Cullerton, the chief sponsor of the bill said, “It’s time to get control of these huge buyouts for public executives and institute some best practices. Taxpayers deserve to have their hard-earned money protected. Let’s end these golden parachutes now.”

BGA President and CEO David Greising said, “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.”

Now that the Government Severance Pay Act has passed both the Illinois Senate and House, we are one step away from exorbitant golden parachutes being a thing of the past.

Thank you for your support. We all now can look forward to Gov. Rauner signing the bill into law.