Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of HR0251
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Full Text of HR0251  99th General Assembly




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2    WHEREAS, Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka was born on
3January 16, 1944; a native of Illinois, she was born in
4Riverside, attending local public schools and the Ferry Hall
5School for Girls; and
6    WHEREAS, Judy Baar Topinka attended the Medill School of
7Journalism at Northwestern University, graduating with a
8degree in journalism; after graduating in 1966, she worked as a
9reporter for the "Forest Park Review" and the "Life Newspapers"
10chain, rising within Life Newspapers to the rank of editor; and
11    WHEREAS, Judy Baar Topinka worked in public relations for
12the American Medical Association and as an independent
13consultant; as a community leader and public relations
14consultant, she became active in 28 separate ethnic, civic, and
15political organizations, including the Cermak Road Business
16Association and the Riverside, Lyons, Brookfield, and West
17Suburban Chambers of Commerce; and
18    WHEREAS, As a community leader, Judy Baar Topinka ran for
19election to the Illinois House of Representatives in November
20of 1980; winning election in the former 7th District, she took
21the oath of office in the 82nd General Assembly; and



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1    WHEREAS, After serving 2 terms in the Illinois House,
2Topinka ran for, and was elected to, the Illinois Senate in
3November of 1984; she served the 22nd District with distinction
4for 10 years; and
5    WHEREAS, After 14 years as a member of the Illinois General
6Assembly, Judy Baar Topinka ran for statewide office; as a
7pioneer in the cause of women in elected statewide office, she
8was chosen in November of 1994 to serve as Illinois State
9Treasurer, winning the votes of 1,504,335 of her fellow
10Illinoisans; and
11    WHEREAS, As Treasurer, Judy Baar Topinka was responsible
12for the prudent investment and safeguarding of Illinois'
13financial assets, including dedicated funds specifically
14earmarked by the Illinois General Assembly for defined public
15purposes; as Treasurer, her performance was increasingly
16valued by the people of Illinois; her election and re-election
17percentages rose from 50.4% in 1994 and 50.0% in 1998, to 54.8%
18in 2002; and
19    WHEREAS, During Judy Baar Topinka's final term as Treasurer
20from 2003 to 2007, the then-sitting Governor of Illinois
21pursued a financial policy of shifting monies between State
22funds, "sweeping" money out of the dedicated funds overseen by
23the Treasurer and damaging the ability of Illinois to keep its



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1promises and meet its financial commitments; and
2    WHEREAS, Fighting to defend the financial honor of
3Illinois, Judy Baar Topinka accepted the nomination of the
4Republican Party in 2006 for Governor of Illinois, waging a
5severely underfunded campaign for the State's highest office as
6the first Republican woman to be nominated for this position;
8    WHEREAS, After briefly living in the private sector, Judy
9Baar Topinka returned to the statewide scene in 2010, seeking
10and winning election in November of 2010 as the 7th State of
11Illinois Comptroller with 1,927,139 votes from her fellow
12residents of the Prairie State; and
13    WHEREAS, As Comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka now had
14responsibility over managing Illinois' active cash flow;
15during her tenure, she continually warned of the dangers
16associated with Illinois' unbalanced budgets; and
17    WHEREAS, As Comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka pioneered the
18online publication of Illinois' cash flow situation in the
19monthly report "Monthly Money Matters", showing her fellow
20citizens how Illinois' unofficial debt and unpaid bill
21situation was steadily worsening, even as complacent public
22officials claimed that the State was continuing to balance its



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1budgets; and
2    WHEREAS, As Comptroller, Judy Baar Topinka strongly
3supported economy in government; she even supported efforts to
4abolish her own position in office through House Joint
5Resolution Constitutional Amendment 1, a bipartisan
6constitutional amendment introduced in the 97th General
7Assembly to eliminate the Office of the Comptroller and
8transfer its powers and duties to the Office of the Illinois
9State Treasurer; and
10    WHEREAS, After HJRCA 1 and similar measures failed to get
11the required 3/5 majorities in both houses of the Illinois
12General Assembly and were not submitted to the voters in 2012
13or 2014, Judy Baar Topinka ran for re-election to the office of
14Comptroller; and
15    WHEREAS, Judy Baar Topinka was re-elected to a second full
16term as Comptroller on November 4, 2014, marking the 5th time
17that she had successfully won the votes of her fellow
18Illinoisans for statewide office; but while serving out the
19final days of her first term as Comptroller, and preparing to
20take the oath of office for her second term, she died in office
21at the age of 70 on December 10, 2014 in Berwyn; therefore, be



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3pay tribute to the memory of our colleague, Illinois
4Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka; and be it further
5    RESOLVED, That we affirm that Judy Baar Topinka was a
6pioneer in the election of women to statewide office in
7Illinois and a figure beloved by the members of both political
8parties; and be it further
9    RESOLVED, That suitable copies of this resolution be
10delivered to Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka's son, Joseph Baar
11Topinka, and her longtime Chief of Staff, Nancy Kimme.