A major community college compensation reform measure, House Bill 3593, received final approval by a vote of 73-34 from the Illinois House last week. Passed over heavy opposition from community college presidents, the bill combined several concepts for reining in abuses in community college severance packages and benefits. One of the limitations in the bill is Rep. Peter Breen’s “Breuder Rule,” which would limit all severance packages to no more than one year’s salary and benefits. The name is a reference to the disgraced president of the College of DuPage, Robert Breuder, who received an over $750,000 payout from the College’s prior Board of Trustees. The College of DuPage is located in Breen’s 48th House District.
“We need reform at every level of government in Illinois,” Breen said. “While those who benefit from sweetheart severance packages fought hard against any changes to the law, my co-sponsors and I were able to gain the necessary bipartisan support to pass the measure. When enough public pressure is brought to bear on bad practices, we can get reforms passed in Springfield. I look forward to more of these sorts of reform measures in the future.”
Rep. Breen (R-Lombard) took the House floor to advocate strongly for the bill during a contentious debate. In addition to Breen’s “Breuder Rule,” the bill also limits community college employment contracts to no more than four years and specifically requires public notice prior to the adoption of those contracts. With final passage by the House, the bill will now be sent to the desk of Governor Bruce Rauner.