Governor Rauner presents consolidation bills backed by GOPers and Dems | Rep. Wehrli's Tweet
NAPERVILLE – Governor Bruce Rauner today joined Lt. Governor Sanguinetti, legislative leaders and local elected officials to announce four bipartisan pieces of legislation to streamline local government delivering more control to local communities.
One Democrat – State Rep. Jack Franks (R-Marengo) – stood among Republican lawmakers, co-sponsoring two bills, indicating yet another issue wedge the Rauner Administration is working into the House Democrat caucus.
“I want to thank the Lt. Governor and Governor Rauner for their leadership on this important issue,” said Franks. “I chaired the previous effort and found that background extremely useful for this effort, but I especially appreciate this administration’s commitment to consolidation and government efficiencies.”
According to the US Census of Government, Illinois has more local units of government than any other state in the nation at 6,963. Illinois also has the second-highest effective property tax rate in the nation. Thefour pieces of legislation would help reduce state barriers to consolidation, and empower taxpayers and local leaders to pursue efficient and effective government, the governor's office said in a press release.
“Today we are one step closer to empowering our local communities and giving them the necessary tools to rein in their out of control costs,” Governor Rauner said. “These four bills are just the start of delivering more value to taxpayers by reducing layers of redundant bureaucracy. I want to thank the Lt. Governor and the Task Force for their hard work, and I look forward to working with the legislature to get these bills passed.”
The proposed legislation includes:
- Citizens Empowerment Act: Empowers Illinois citizens and local governments to consolidate duplicative, excessive or unnecessary units of government via referendum. Sponsored by: Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington), Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) and Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon)
- DuPage County Consolidation Powers Expansion: Provides that the Local Government Reduction and Efficiency Division of the Counties Code applies to all counties which currently only applies to DuPage County. Sponsored by: Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton), Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington), Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo), Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield), Rep. Grant Werhli (R-Naperville) and Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon)
- Evanston Township Consolidation Expansion: Extends to all coterminous townships and municipalities the same authority to consolidate that is currently only provided to Evanston. Sponsored by: Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon) and Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon)
- Township Consolidation: Removes arbitrary barriers to township consolidation that exist in statute so local residents or units of government can consolidate if they so choose. Sponsored by: Sen. Dale Righter (R-Mattoon), Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo) and Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon)
“I believe the recommendations put forward today will have a tremendous impact on the people of Illinois,” said Lt. Governor Sanguinetti. “It was an honor to serve as the Chairman of the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force. I look forward to continue working with members of the Task Force as we work to streamline local government and make it more efficient for the taxpayers of Illinois.”
“I have been fighting for government consolidation since the day I was elected in 2008,” said State Sen. Dan Duffy (R-Lake Barrington). “I am proud to have had the opportunity to recommend ways we can eliminate government bureaucracy and wasteful spending to reduce costs for our local governments, schools and taxpayers.”
"I'm glad to support these proposals to streamline and improve local government," said State Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon). "These bills will reduce costs and improve efficiency, and that will help taxpayers across Illinois."
"It is the duty of all elected officials to seek greater efficiencies and cost-savings opportunities by way of intergovernmental agreements that save taxpayer dollars," said State Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Wheaton). "In the face of 'sky-high' property taxes, it's time to empower local governments with these cost-saving measures."
“The Task Force put together a very comprehensive report and as elected officials we all have a responsibility to look for the most efficient way to deliver services to residents,” said Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico. “Naperville has always been a community that values good government as well as looking at innovative ways to create savings for our taxpayers.”
The FIRST thing I’m doing once this passes is starting a referendum to dissolve and consolidate our SCHOOL DISTRICTS. The schools are taking THREE-QUARTERS of my property taxes, and I don’t even have a kid in school – Thanks, Bruce Rauner!