Illinois Comptroller

The Comptroller of Illinois is an elected official of the U.S. state of Illinois. They are responsible for maintaining the State's fiscal accounts, and for ordering payments into and out of them. The office was created by the Illinois Constitution of 1970, replacing the office of Auditor of Public Accounts.

Comptroller of Illinois
Seal of Illinois.svg
Susana Mendoza Blue Suit.jpg
Susana Mendoza

since December 5, 2016
Term lengthFour years, no term limits
Inaugural holderGeorge W. Lindberg
FormationDecember 15, 1970 (1970-12-15)
Salary$135,669 (2016)[1]

The Comptroller of Illinois was Judy Baar Topinka, a member of the Republican Party first elected in 2010 and subsequently re-elected in 2014 to a second four-year term. However, Topinka died unexpectedly in December 2014.[2] On December 19, Governor Pat Quinn appointed Jerry Stermer to succeed Topinka, to serve until January 12, 2015, when he was replaced by Leslie Munger, who was appointed by Quinn's successor as governor, Bruce Rauner.[3][4][5] Munger was then defeated by Susana Mendoza in the 2016 special election to fill the remainder of the term through 2018.


The Comptroller is charged, by the terms of Section 17 of Article V of the Constitution of Illinois, with the duties of: (a) maintaining the central fiscal accounts of the state, and (b) ordering payments into and out of the funds held by the Treasurer of Illinois. In accordance with this duty, the Comptroller signs paychecks or grants approval to electronic payments made by the state to its employees and creditors.[6] The Comptroller is also charged, by Illinois statute, with certain additional duties. In particular, the Comptroller regulates cemeteries under the Cemetery Care Act, and is charged with the fiduciary protection of cemetery care funds used for the care and maintenance of Illinois gravesites.[7]

The Illinois Constitution provides that the comptroller must, at the time of his or her election, be a United States citizen, at least 25 years old, and a resident of the state for at least 3 years preceding the election.[6] The Comptroller is fourth (behind the Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and Secretary of State, respectively) in the line of succession to the office of Governor of Illinois.[8][9]

The Comptroller's office operates a web page describing the office's powers and duties.[10]

Merger proposalsEdit

Some legislators have perceived a redundancy overlap between the offices of Comptroller and Treasurer, and have therefore proposed constitutional amendments to merge the two offices and earn administrative savings. For example, HJRCA 12, considered by the Illinois General Assembly in the 2008-2009 session, would merge the office of Comptroller into the office of Treasurer.[11]

In 2011, Comptroller Topinka and the Treasurer, Dan Rutherford, introduced legislation to allow voters to decide whether the offices should be merged.[12] The legislation was opposed by Michael Madigan, Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives, and did not become law.[13]

List of office holdersEdit

The following is an historic list of office holders for the Comptroller of Illinois and its preceding office, the Auditor of Public Accounts.[14][15]

Auditors of Public Accounts, Northwest TerritoryEdit

Auditors of Public Accounts, Indiana TerritoryEdit

  • vacant (1801–1809)

Auditors of Public Accounts, Illinois TerritoryEdit

  • vacant (1809 - 1812)
# Name Term Political Party
1 H. H. Maxwell 1812-1816
2 Daniel Pope Cook 1816 Democratic-Republican
3 Robert Blackwell 1817
4 Elijah C. Berry 1817-1818

Auditors of Public Accounts, State of IllinoisEdit

# Name Political Party Term
1 Elijah C. Berry Democratic 1818–1831
2 James T. B. Stapp Democratic 1831–1835
3 Levi Davis Whig 1835–1841
4 James Shields Democratic 1841–1843
5 William L. D. Ewing Democratic 1843–1846
6 Thomas Hayes Campbell Democratic 1846–1857
7 Jesse K. Dubois Republican 1857–1864
8 Orlin H. Miner Republican 1864–1869
9 Charles E. Lippincott Republican 1869–1877
10 Thomas B. Needles Republican 1877–1881
11 Charles P. Swigart Republican 1881–1889
12 Charles W. Pavey Republican 1889–1893
13 David Gore Democratic 1893–1897
14 James S. McCullough Republican 1897–1913
15 James J. Brady Democratic 1913–1917
16 Andrew Russell Republican 1917–1925
17 Oscar Nelson Republican 1925–1933
18 Edward J. Barrett Democratic 1933–1941
19 Arthur C. Lueder Republican 1941–1949
20 Benjamin O. Cooper Democratic 1949–1953
21 Orville E. Hodge Republican 1953–1956
22 Lloyd Morey Republican 1956–1957
23 Elbert S. Smith Republican 1957–1961
24 Michael J. Howlett Democratic 1961–1973

Comptrollers, State of IllinoisEdit

# Name Political Party Term
1 George W. Lindberg Republican 1973–1977
2 Michael J. Bakalis Democratic 1977–1979
3 Roland W. Burris Democratic 1979–1991
4 Dawn Clark Netsch Democratic 1991–1995
5 Loleta A. Didrickson Republican 1995–1999
6 Dan Hynes Democratic 1999–2011
7 Judy Baar Topinka Republican 2011–2014
8 Jerry Stermer Democratic 2014–2015
9 Leslie Munger Republican 2015–2016
10 Susana Mendoza Democratic 2016–present


  1. ^ "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES" (PDF). The Council of State Governments. April 11, 2016. Retrieved March 24, 2017.
  2. ^ "Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka Dead at 70". NBC 5 Chicago, WMAQ. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 10 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Quinn names longtime aide Stermer to succeed Topinka as comptroller". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  4. ^ (January 5, 2015) - "Rauner to Appoint Leslie Munger as Next Illinois Comptroller". Retrieved January 12, 2015.
  5. ^ "Newcomers, veterans sworn in as statewide officers". The State Journal-Register. Springfield, Illinois. Associated Press. January 12, 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-01.
  6. ^ a b Section 3, Article V, "Constitution of Illinois", accessed April 12, 2008.
  7. ^ 760 ILCS 100/1 et seq., "Illinois Compiled Statutes", accessed April 12, 2008.
  8. ^ "Constitution of the State of Illinois". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  9. ^ "Illinois Compiled Statutes 15 ILCS 5 — Governor Succession Act". Illinois General Assembly. Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  10. ^ "Illinois State Comptroller Daniel W. Hynes", accessed April 12, 2008.Illinois State Comptroller web page
  11. ^ "House Joint Resolution - Constitutional Amendment 12". Retrieved March 8, 2009.
  12. ^ McQueary, Kristen (December 31, 2011). "Move to Allow Vote to Merge Treasurer and Comptroller Jobs Stalls in House". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  13. ^ Wetterich, Chris (8 June 2011). "Madigan blocking merger of treasurer, comptroller's offices". The State Journal-Register. Retrieved 11 January 2012.
  14. ^ History of the Office of Comptroller of Illinois Archived 2010-11-08 at the Wayback Machine
  15. ^ Get this book in print▼ Books on Google Play Illinois Blue Book (1st ed.). Springfield: Secretary of State. 1908. p. 157. Retrieved 13 August 2018.