On Monday, June 26, Transform Illinois members Jose Sanchez (BGA), Carol Portman (Taxpayers Federation of Illinois) and Hilary Denk (League of Women Voters) testified before the House of Representatives during hearings on local government consolidation before a committee of the whole. The group shared examples of successful efforts to reduce the size, scope and cost of local government and illuminated Transform Illinois coalition partners’ work throughout the region.
June 2017 Testimony In Springfield
Below is a list of bills introduced this year designed to reduce the size, scope and cost of local government, enhance transparency and empower voters.
- HB 792 (Demmer, R-Rochelle)
HB 3135 (Yingling, D-Grayslake)
SB 2065 (Righter, R-Mattoon)
Extends the Local Government Reduction & Efficiency Act (DuPage model) to all counties in the state (in addition to DuPage, Lake and McHenry Counties). Provides counties with limited authority to consolidate or dissolve specific county appointed agencies whose governance is appointed entirely by the county board and after an extensive public process.
- HB 3521 (Butler, R-Springfield)
Provides that each office of a township collector in Sangamon County shall cease upon the expiration of a township collector’s term or if vacant on the effective date of this Act. Further provides that upon the cessation of an office of a township collector, the Sangamon County Treasurer assumes the duties of the township collector of that township.
- HB 3525 (Wehrli, R-Naperville)
Allows all boards of trustees of a township to submit a proposition to abolish a road district of a township to the electors of the township.
- HB 3851 (Fortner, R-West Chicago)
Amends the Township Code. Provides that the corporate authorities of a home rule municipality may by resolution, provide that the municipality is organized as a coterminous city.
- HB 3865 (Morrison, R-Palatine)
Creates the Illinois District Consolidation Commission for the purpose of recommending what school districts in the state to consolidate with a goal of reducing the total number of school districts in the state by at least 60%. Requires the commission to submit a report by November 6, 2017.
- SB 3 (Cullerton, T., D-Villa Park)
Extends the Local Government Reduction & Efficiency Act (DuPage model) to all counties in the state (in addition to DuPage, Lake and McHenry Counties). Removes a restriction limiting townships to 126 square miles; authorizes two or more adjacent townships to consolidate into a new township or existing township as long as each township board has adopted a resolution to hold a public referendum on that question; provides for the merger of one adjacent township into two other townships; provides for the dissolution of all townships within a coterminous municipality; provides that certain county boards may dissolve their appointed drainage districts after a public hearing and notice process; provides for the abolishment of a road district if the district managed road miles do not exceed four miles in length.
- SB 773 (Morrison, D-Deerfield)
Removes a restriction limiting townships to 126 square miles. Also provides that counties with a population of more than 500,000 and less than 3 million may by resolution, dissolve drainage districts wholly within their borders if the county board appoints the drainage commissioners and transfers all functions to the county.
- SB 775 (Morrison, D-Deerfield)
Provides for the appointment of all drainage commissioners by the county board and provides that the appointment shall be made as the terms of the current drainage commissioners expire.
- SB 909 (Bush, D-Grayslake)
Provides that the Lake County Board by ordinance or by voter approval, may discontinue all offices of the township assessor in the county. Transfers duties of a discontinued township assessor to the Chief County Assessment Officer.
- SB 1230 (Morrison, D-Deerfield)
Provides that in counties that have discontinued township organization, shall keep their form of government.
- SB 1592 (Harmon, D-Oak Park)
Permits counties by adoption of an ordinance to create a board of election commissioners within the office of the county clerk (for DuPage County, would have the effect of dissolving the DuPage County Election Commission as a separate entity).
- SB 2061 (Oberweis, R-Aurora)
Removes a restriction limiting townships to 126 square miles. Provides that an ordinance or petition to consolidate a township may contain a provision requiring a new tax rate for the consolidated area equal to the lowest property tax rate in the consolidated areas preceding the consolidation. Provides that all townships within a coterminous or substantially coterminous municipality may be consolidated.
Empower Voters to Make Decisions
- HB 347 (McSweeney, R-Cary)
Creates the Citizens Empowerment Act to allow voters to petition for a referendum at the next general election to dissolve a unit of local government.
- HB 496 (Demmer, R-Rochelle)
HB 3761 (Yingling, D-Grayslake)
HB 3845 (Yingling, D-Grayslake)
HB 3915 (Yingling, D-Grayslake)
Provides that all townships within a coterminous or substantially coterminous municipality, may be discontinued or consolidated by voter referendum.
- HB 3133 (Yingling, D-Grayslake)
Creates the Township Modernization and Consolidation Act to provide that all townships in a county may be dissolved by referendum, through either citizen petition or county board ordinance.
- HB 3846 (Yingling, D-Grayslake)
Provides that in counties where the county board chooses or elects one of its own members as chairman, the county may change to electing its county board chairman by a petition signed by 5% of the number of voters who voted at the last general election and submitting that question to the voters.
- SB 669 (Link, D-Waukegan)
Provides that for the 2020 election and thereafter, the Chairman of the Lake County Board shall be elected by the voters of the county.
- SB 915 (Bush, D-Grayslake)
Provides that two or more townships which share a boundary may consolidate into one township after a referendum is approved by a majority of voters in both townships. Provides that all townships within a coterminous, or substantially coterminous municipality may dissolve into the municipality.
Increase Transparency and Accountability
- HB 682 (Olsen, R-Downers Grove)
Creates the Local Initiative Sunshine Act to require the Office of the Comptroller to create and maintain a searchable database website to provide information concerning recipients of gubernatorial or legislative member initiatives.
- HB 684 (Yingling, D-Grayslake)
Provides that a unit of local government with taxing authority or any person holding public office within that unit of local government, shall not use public resources or public funds to obstruct, fight, or challenge initiatives to consolidate, merge, or eliminate any unit of local government.