By the Better Government Association: Today we're taking a deep dive into an important government efficiency initiative in Illinois: streamlining and consolidation. This process enables local officials and voters to save tax dollars by reducing or eliminating overlapping, duplicative and unnecessary offices and units of government. Let's walk through a timeline of progress so far: 2012, September Illinois surges to almost 7,000 units of government, more than any other state 2014, January The BGA adopts ‘smart streamlining’ approach to combatting government bloat Example: Mosquito Districts Did you know that Cook County has four separate mosquito abatement districts that spend $11.5 million a year [...]
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Illinois should have the best parks, libraries and fire protection among the nation’s 10 most populous states. That’s because local governments in Illinois collectively spent the most per capita on each of those functions among peer states during fiscal year 2015, the most recent year for which data were available, according to a Metropolitan Planning Council analysis of local government finance data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. Perhaps Illinois simply values its parks, libraries and fire protection more than other states. And maybe the higher spending indeed means those services are better in Illinois than other states. However, MPC's [...]
The Metropolitan Planning Council’s Change Makers: Modernizing County Government in Illinois interview series addresses challenges faced by county governments throughout the region. DuPage County’s groundbreaking ACT Initiative, Illinois’ first of its kind policy agenda that prioritizes accountability, consolidation and transparency, serves as a model for Illinois communities and we are identifying the unique barriers that diverse localities are encountering in light of new reforms and efficiency measures. Kane County Chairman Chris Lauzen granted the Metropolitan Planning Council the second interview in this series and spoke about what he perceives as the most prominent hurdles to government reform. Located West of [...]
The Metropolitan Planning Council’s Change Makers: Modernizing County Government in Illinois interview series addresses challenges faced by county governments throughout the region. DuPage County’s groundbreaking ACT Initiative, a policy agenda that prioritizes accountability, consolidation and transparency, serves as a model for Illinois communities and we are identifying the unique barriers that diverse localities are encountering in light of new reforms and efficiency measures. Chairman Frank Haney of Winnebago County (R) offered the first interview in this series. Haney spoke with the Metropolitan Planning Council to discuss current reform efforts in his jurisdiction. Located in Northern Illinois, west of Chicago, Winnebago [...]
Illinois has the most local units of government of any state in the country at as many as 6,963. SB3, or Public Act 100-0107, paves the way for consolidation of some of these local governments. The BGA’s policy unit supported SB3 and, with your help, called on legislators to do the same. Here’s what you need to know about the law. What does SB3 do? SB3 is a landmark move toward more accountable and efficient government in Illinois. It enables county governments across the state to consolidate units of local government under their jurisdiction by approving a referendum asking voters [...]
With approximately 7,000 units of government, Illinois leads the nation with the highest number of independent taxing bodies, many of which are repetitive and outdated in cost and administration. Members of the Transform Illinois coalition recently made strong cases for government consolidation at the Illinois General Assembly at an opportune moment when the state is in need of fiscal efficiency. Two key bills that would expand opportunities for consolidation and voter empowerment in these matters are currently pending in the legislature. On June 26, 2017, the House Committee of the Whole held a hearing on local government consolidation that featured [...]