SPRINGFIELD — In a move triggered largely by Gov. Pat Quinn’s controversial pick to run the state police, the Illinois Senate voted unanimously Thursday to tighten rules governing gubernatorial appointments.
On a 48-0 vote, the Senate approved a proposal to bar future agency directors and other appointees from serving if they aren’t properly confirmed by the Senate.
The move would ensure the Senate continues to have a chance to review the governor’s picks for top state jobs.
State Police Director Jonathon Monken is among a number of Quinn appointees who have been serving without having been confirmed by the Senate.
Under the Illinois Constitution, the Senate must confirm all gubernatorial appointees within a certain timeframe. In Monken’s case, the Senate attempted to cut off his pay when that period expired.
Attorney General Lisa Madigan ruled Monken, who was hired with no previous law enforcement management experience, should continue to be paid.
But, Monken isn’t the only appointee affected by the proposal. An estimated 500 paid and unpaid appointees to agencies and special boards continue to serve in their posts even though their terms have expired.
Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, said the proposed changes will tighten up the appointment procedure.
“It’s meant to correct what we see as a loophole in the law,” said Cullerton.
The measure is similar to one that was approved in the Senate last year, but failed to advance in the House.
The legislation is Senate Bill 1.