Severance pay to Illinois officials described as out of control
While most Illinoisans suffer under the strain of joblessness and an increasingly higher tax burden, the state continues to pay enormous severance packages, the Better Government Association (BGA) contends.
The BGA alleges that some of the packages that so-called "golden parachutes" in the private sector and has not been transparent in how their values are determined.
Former University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign President Michael Hogan resigned in 2012 following a scandal in which his chief of staff attempted to influence an internal debate by pretending to be a member of the school's legislative body. Hogan received a $67,500 payment to end his contract, as well as a $285,000 sabbatical. Hogan accepted a teaching position in Springfield at a salary of $285,000.
The BGA argues that some states have taken steps to stop this from happening anymore. California reined in the severance for K-12 school superintendents in 2015 by cutting their severance pay to 12 months from 18. Florida went farther in 2011, restricting severance pay for any public employee to no more than 20 weeks' salary for contracted employees and six weeks for non-contract employees.
Illinois does have severance pay restriction law on its books, but it only pertains to community colleges. The law restricts severance pay to no more than one year's salary, as well as making the renewal of contracts more open and transparent.