Rauner signs law axing golden parachutes at community colleges

Rauner signs law axing golden parachutes at community colleges

The new law ensures public oversight of lucrative contracts, such as the one granted to embattled College of DuPage President Robert Breuder.

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Sept. 22 signed into law a taxpayer-protection measure capping severance payments for outgoing community-college employees in Illinois.

The new law, effective immediately, will cap severance payments at one year’s salary and benefits and will limit standard contracts to four years for community-college employees not covered by a collective bargaining agreement. It also requires public notice and approval of any new, amended or renewed employment deals.

Rauner’s action comes on the heels of public outcry in the wake of College of DuPage President Robert Breuder getting a $763,000 severance package in exchange for retiring early – a payout being challenged by a new, reform-minded majority on the board of the Glen Ellyn college.

Controversy surrounding Breuder involved an accounting scheme used to hide millions of dollars in spending, including payments to businesses connected to college leadership, satellite phones used for Breuder’s exotic hunting trips, his membership at a private shooting club and nearly a quarter of a million dollars in booze listed on ledger lines as “instructional supplies.”

The Chicago Tribune revealed Breuder and other leaders at the college had charged taxpayers nearly $190,000 in dining fees at the college’s high-end restaurant, Waterleaf, since 2011.

This is the second piece of legislation signed by Rauner this month to address golden parachutes like Breuder’s. Rauner signed into law Sept. 10 a measure subjecting all severance agreements funded entirely or partially by public dollars to the state’s Freedom of Information Act.

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