Jesiel Bill to Prevent Excessive Severance Packages for Public Contracts Headed To Governor

This week, the Illinois House overwhelmingly passed legislation sponsored by State Representative Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) to curtail excessively large severance packages in public employment contracts. Having now passed both Houses of the General Assembly, Senate Bill 3604 will soon be sent to the Governor for his signature.

“This legislation is an overdue win for taxpayers,” said Jesiel. “If a public servant, particularly in an administrative or leadership role, engages in misconduct and loses their job, taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of dollars in unmerited pay as a result.”

SB3604 is the result of a number of incidents over the last few years when government bodies provided extravagant employment packages, including lavish spending and lucrative “golden parachute” severance agreements, particularly at the State’s institutions of higher education. Perhaps the most notorious case was in 2015 at the College of DuPage. College President Robert Breuder was found to have hid more than $95 million in misleading line-items to use for expenses such as $243,300 in liquor purchases. Despite the clear misconduct of Mr. Breuder, trustees at the College of DuPage approved a $763,000 severance package for their departing President.

To curb these excessively large severance packages, SB3604 limits severance pay to a maximum of 20 weeks compensation for all units of government in the state. In addition, if an employee is fired for misconduct, as defined in the law, any severance agreement will be void.

“I’m glad this bill received such strong bipartisan support in both chambers and I look forward to it being signed into law,” said Jesiel.

For more information about SB3604, Click Here.

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