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Government Consolidation

  • Castro’s new law empowers residents to eliminate government waste

    castro 050417ELGIN- Local communities have a new tool to combat government waste thanks to Elgin Democratic State Senator Cristina Castro.

    Castro championed House Bill 607, which allows townships to abolish road districts through the use of voter referendums. 

    “Empowering voters to streamline services and eliminate redundant forms of government will lower property tax bills,” Castro said. “Now more than ever we need to work in tune with local citizens to reduce waste in every level of government.”

    House Bill 607 allows every township in Illinois to place a referendum on the ballot asking voters whether a township road district should be abolished and the responsibilities of maintaining roadways transferred to the township. Previously this option was only available for townships located in Cook County.

    Castro said a good example of local road district consolidation happened in Hanover Township in Cook County when the township worked to consolidate its road district prior to the passage of this new law.

    “As a result of our citizen approved consolidation referendum, Hanover Township has an opportunity to implement cost saving measures all while maintaining  high quality constituent service,” said Brian P. McGuire, Hanover Township Supervisor. “As it should be, this new law invests power in the hands of local residents throughout Illinois.”   

    Castro said her experience as a member of the Kane County Board helped her craft this legislation and gain an understanding of government at the local level. 

    “Local control belongs in local hands,” she said. “There is no one-size-fits-all approach to consolidating government services, so this new law will allow taxpayers to decide what’s best for their communities.”

    House Bill 607 passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.

  • Hastings passes key government consolidation initiative

    hastings 011017SPRINGFIELD- To start consolidating the more than 7,000 outdated government entities, State Senator Michael E. Hastings (D-Tinley Park) passed Senate Bill 3.

    Senate Bill 3 allows counties to dissolve certain units of local government through a voter referendum.

    “The goal is to save money, reduce taxes and make sure government is working for the people,” Hastings said. “It’s important that we continue to explore different ways to make sure government is working for the citizens of Illinois.”

    Senate Bill 3 expands the ability of townships to consolidate and create greater efficiencies for taxpayers. The plan allows adjacent townships to merge, allows townships to take over the duties of smaller township road districts, removes the current cap on township size and allows voters to approve for the dissolution of townships that are coterminous with a municipality.

    “This is one small step we can take to reduce taxes without sacrificing the quality of government service,” Hastings said.

    The Illinois Senate has passed structural reforms in hopes the governor will compromise and pass a bipartisan budget that will be kind and compassionate toward the residents of the Southland. 

    Hastings hopes the passage of the structural reforms leads the governor back to the table for budget negotiations to pass a balanced budget.

  • Sen. Bush co-sponsored measure to consolidate local government is now law

    bush pink taxSPRINGFIELD — To continue pushing for more options to consolidate local government, State Sen. Melinda Bush supported a new law signed by Governor Rauner this week that allows two Lake County Sanitary Districts to dissolve and relegate their duties and obligations to county government.

    "This legislation, in addition to others I’ve sponsored and supported this year, is an answer to clear calls from the community asking us to provide the means to consolidate local government," said Bush, D-Grayslake. "Property owners are paying taxes on more than 7,000 units of local government throughout Illinois. We don’t need that many, and it’s time to seek commonsense ways to reorganize where we can while still providing quality services."

    The new law allows the Round Lake Sanitary District and Fox Lake Hills Sanitary District to enter into agreements with Lake County to dissolve. In doing so, the county would undertake the assets and responsibilities of the sanitary districts. Bush co-sponsored the measure in the Illinois Senate, where it had bipartisan support.

    The legislation was House Bill 5584. It is effective immediately.

  • Senator Cullerton on Gov't. Consolidation

    Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park)speaks at a press conference to the merits of legislation he is sponsoring to consolidate local government.

  • Senator Tom Cullerton on gov't. consolidation

    Senator Tom Cullteron (D-Villa Park) discusses his proposal for a constitutional amendment consolidating the office of the lieutenant governor.

  • Tom Cullerton advances measure to speed up government consolidation process

    tcullerton 022118SPRINGFIELD- Currently, it takes over two and a half years for some Illinois counties to consolidate local government entities. This may soon change thanks to Villa Park Democratic Senator Tom Cullerton.

    Cullerton’s measure, Senate Bill 2544, will speed up the consolidation process by decreasing the waiting period after the first county audit is performed.

    “Consolidating government the right way will help lower property taxes for DuPage County residents,” Cullerton said. “Speeding up the process will help residents experience government savings sooner rather than later.”

    In 2013, Cullerton worked with DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin to implement an effective government consolidation model to eliminate redundant forms of government. Last year, Cullerton continued to advance his mission of making sure government is working in tune with the needs of Illinois’ residents.

    “Outdated and redundant units of government are a disservice to the public,” Cullerton said. “This commonsense measure will ensure government works more efficiently and effectively to serve the citizens of Illinois.”

    When the original DuPage pilot program was created in 2013, Cullerton agreed to a number of provisions, including a 150-day waiting period after the first audit was performed. Senate Bill 2544 reduces that waiting period from 150 to 60 days to speed up the process and help counties receive results more promptly.

    “DuPage County is proof government consolidating works,” Cullerton said. “Saving vital taxpayer money while working toward effective government is a win for everyone involved.”

    Senate Bill 2544 passed the Senate’s Committee on Government Reform with bipartisan support and now moves to the full Senate for consideration. 

  • Tom Cullerton passes monumental government consolidation measure

    tc consol 051717SPRINGFIELD- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) successfully passed Senate Bill 3 which will take DuPage County’s bipartisan government consolidation model statewide.

    DuPage County’s government consolidation model is expected to save taxpayers more than $100 million over the next 20 years.

    “This monumental government consolidation legislation is making sure government is working for the people,” Cullerton said. “The best way to lower property taxes without sacrificing services is to empower voters to eliminate and combine services. It is a no-brainer.

  • Tom Cullerton to Governor Rauner: “The time to act is now”

    tc 052417VILLA PARK- State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) urges Governor Bruce Rauner to sign Senate 3, bipartisan government consolidation, into law today.

    Senate Bill 3 is based on Cullerton’s DuPage County government consolidation model that is expected to save taxpayers more than $100 million over the next 20 years.

    “The time to act is now,” Cullerton said. “This is a no brainer. I ask Governor Rauner to sign this legislation today to empower local bodies to eliminate and combine services. The best way for local government to lower property taxes is find efficiencies. This one step will improve government services and lower property taxes without sacrificing the needs of residents.”

  • Tom Cullerton works to eliminate red tape for Illinois’ businesses

    Sen. Tom CullertonVILLA PARK - Illinois now has a streamlined process to improve the way state government entities purchase goods and services, thanks to Villa Park Democrat Tom Cullerton.

    Cullerton’s bipartisan initiative, Senate Bill 8, is a reform aimed at taxpayer savings that was signed into law today.

    “Eliminating red tape and streamlining the purchasing process will make it easier for local businesses to bid on state contracts,” Cullerton said. “Our local businesses are the heart of our economy. It’s our duty to make this process easier and more transparent to help encourage economic development in our communities.”

  • Tom Cullerton, Illinois Municipal League and Illinois Policy Institute work together to pass key government consolidation initiative

    tc govconsSPRINGFIELD-To share the success seen in DuPage County, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) will advance House Bill 4501, which will spread the success of DuPage County’s government consolidation model statewide.

    “It’s important that we continue to explore different ways to make sure government is working for the citizens of Illinois,” Cullerton said. “Government needs to evolve with the needs of the people. This is one small step we can take to make government more efficient and effective.”

    Representative Sam Yingling (D-Grayslake) passed House Bill 4501 in the House with bipartisan support.

    “I’m incredibly pleased that we are making meaningful progress on this bipartisan effort to eliminate unnecessary layers of government in Illinois,” Yingling said. “This common sense approach to reducing expenses and consolidating services will provide relief to Illinois homeowners who are increasingly being taxed out of their homes.”

    HB 4501 allows counties to dissolve certain units of local government through a voter referendum. Counties may only dissolve local governments with governing boards appointed by the county.

    Illinois Municipal League Executive Director Brad Cole and Illinois Policy Institute Government Affairs Staff Attorney Heather Weiner stood with Cullerton and Yingling in support of House Bill 4501.

    Cullerton passed Senate Bill 494 in 2013 which created the DuPage County government consolidation model used in House Bill 4501. This initiative will move the state one step closer in identifying and removing unnecessary government entities.

    "There’s been a great deal of talk over the past several years about streamlining local governments to create efficiencies,” Cole said. “We certainly need to identify and eliminate service redundancies at the local level and pass the cost savings on to local taxpayers. HB 4501 moves us in the right direction."

    Through this model, DuPage County is projected to save taxpayers more than $100 million over the next 20 years. The savings allow for lower property tax rates and provide residents with necessary services.

    “This is why Illinois Policy is so enthusiastic about House Bill 4501 and expanding the consolidation powers of DuPage County to all counties in the state,” Weiner said. “This should be a noncontroversial step toward making government more efficient, controlling property taxes, and stopping the exodus of Illinoisans who can no longer afford to live here.”

    House Bill 4501 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate’s Committee on Local Government at 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 11.

  • Township consolidation measures signed into law today

    Cullerton Morrison billsig 081417

  • Township consolidation proposal passes Senate

    morrison 042116SPRINGFIELD – A plan by State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield) that would empower townships and local residents to dissolve or consolidate certain services passed the Illinois Senate yesterday.

    “Illinois law currently prevents many proposals that would make local government more efficient and have the potential of saving taxpayers’ money,” Morrison said. “My proposal, while entirely permissive, would empower townships and local residents to make decisions that are in the best interests of local residents.”

    Morrison’s plan, contained in Senate Bill 389, would remove the state cap on the size of townships, currently set at 126 square miles, giving townships that want to merge the ability to do so. The plan also allows townships to absorb a road district with less than 15 miles of road. In many areas of the state, especially in the suburbs, municipalities have annexed and grown to include many areas once maintained by townships.

    Morrison’s plan would also allow county boards in Will, Lake and Kane Counties to absorb the responsibilities of drainage districts. There are 19 drainage districts located in the three counties.

    Senate Bill 389 passed the Illinois Senate yesterday on a 36-9 vote and heads to the Illinois House for further debate.