Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the death of Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka leaves essentially two vacancies that should first be filled by outgoing Gov. Pat Quinn and then Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner.
Voters should also get a chance to cast ballots for the office in 2016, she said.
Topinka died last week. The Republican had won a second term, which starts next month.
In a legal analysis released Monday, Madigan says Quinn should appoint someone until Jan. 12, when the current term ends and new elected officials are sworn in. Then once Rauner is in office he should appoint someone.
But Madigan says it's an elected office. She says voters should have a say in a replacement as early as possible.
"I urge Governor Quinn, Governor-Elect Rauner, the legislative leaders and the members of the General Assembly to support and move forward with a new law allowing the people of Illinois to vote, at the next regularly scheduled statewide election in 2016, to determine who will serve as Comptroller until the 2018 election," she said.
A spokesman said Quinn was reviewing the analysis.
"We are pleased that the Attorney General’s legal analysis is in line with what Governor-Elect Rauner and I’ve been saying over the past several days that there must be two appointments for comptroller," said House Republican Leader Jim Durkin. "Thanks to the quick response by Attorney General Lisa Madigan. We can now put this question behind us and instead honor the achievements and extraordinary life of Judy Baar Topinka."