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Local Government

  • Murphy supports proposal to consolidate local governments

    murphy 020817SPRINGFIELD- Currently, Illinois has the most local units of governments in the nation with over 7,000, running up an expensive tab for taxpayers.

    Today, the Illinois Senate passed Senate Bill 3 to make it easier for local governments to consolidate or be eliminated completely and save taxpayers’ money. State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) supported the legislation.

    The proposal, which passed the Senate with a vote of 34-14-11:

    • allows counties to dissolve local governments with governing boards appointed by the county (excluding water and fire protection districts)
    • allows townships to merge with adjacent townships
    • allows townships that share the same boundaries as a municipality to be dissolved by referendum
    • removes the current cap on square mileage of a township and other various barriers that prevent townships from consolidating 

    “These duplicative layers of government cost taxpayers thousands of extra dollars every year,” Murphy said. “Removing these outdated barriers to consolidation will provide significant savings.”

    The proposal will now head to the Illinois House of Representatives.

  • Senate advances township consolidation proposal

    morrison 020817SPRINGFIELD – Efforts to give greater flexibility and incentive to consolidate local governmental bodies advanced in the Illinois Senate today. State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield), a chief co-sponsor of the plan, helped craft the proposal, which includes several initiatives aimed at making it easier for the consolidation of townships and the services they provide.

    “Local residents who rely on the services provided by their township would be empowered under this plan to make decisions that are in the best interest of their local communities,” Morrison said. “Outdated state requirements do nothing but stand in the way of making government efficient and able to respond to the needs of its citizens.”

    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.

    The proposal would also allow all counties in Illinois to dissolve local governments that have governing boards appointed by the county. Currently, state law allows only DuPage, Lake and McHenry Counties to consolidate local governmental bodies.

    Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate this afternoon on a 36-14 vote.

  • Senator Bush’s local government consolidation legislation passes Illinois Senate

    bush 020817 sb3SPRINGFIELD – A local government consolidation measure passed in the Senate with bipartisan support. Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) championed Senate Bill 3, which allows voters to abolish or consolidate local townships, reducing bureaucracy and saving taxpayer dollars.

    “Local government consolidation is long overdue,” Bush said. “With the senate’s passage, we are now one step closer to allowing voters to decide what type of government can best serve the needs of their communities.”

    Illinois has more than 1,400 townships. Currently, only three Illinois counties have a framework to consolidate, absorb or eliminate local townships. Because of Senator Bush’s past work on local government consolidation, Lake County is one of the three counties that allows for consolidation.

    Senate Bill 3 allows all 102 Illinois counties to consolidate local townships with voter consent. Senator Bush championed the same legislation last session as SB 388, but the measure died in the House.

    “Consolidating local governments will be good for Illinois. It will save taxpayer money and reduce government bureaucracy—two things Illinois desperately needs,” Bush said. “I urge the Illinois House to follow the senate’s lead and vote to allow local governments to consolidate.”

    Senate Bill 3 passed the Senate by a vote of 36-14. The legislation now awaits passage of the remaining bills tied to it.

  • Bertino-Tarrant: local government efficiency, procurement reform are good for taxpayers

    jbt041415SPRINGFIELD— State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) voted for a plan today that would make it easier for taxpayers to save money by abolishing duplicative township governments.

    “Illinois has more than 1,400 township governments,” Bertino-Tarrant said. “By opening up the opportunity for local government consolidation throughout the state, we are ensuring that taxpayer dollars can be saved and unnecessary or outdated township governments can be abolished.”

    Under Senate Bill 3, local government consolidation procedures that exist in DuPage, Lake and McHenry Counties are extended throughout the state. Townships could merge with one or more adjacent townships. A city or village could absorb a township that occupies the same geographical boundaries.

    Today, Bertino-Tarrant also voted to improve the way state government purchases goods and services, which was initiated because of concerns regarding procurement rules that can be difficult for vendors, state agencies and universities to navigate.

    “We could make government purchasing a lot more efficient if we eliminate red tape that slows down the process,” Bertino-Tarrant said.

    Senate Bill 8 expands the ability of state universities to purchase needed products and services without going through the procurement process. Illinois would be allowed to enter into joint purchasing agreements with other governmental units. Vendors would also be given more flexibility when registering or submitting a bid.

    Procurement reform and local government consolidation will have to be passed by the Illinois House before going to the governor for final approval.

  • Tom Cullerton passes key government consolidation initiative

    tc consol 020817SPRINGFIELD- To share the success seen in DuPage County, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) passed Senate Bill 3, which will spread DuPage County’s bipartisan 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. “The best way to lower property taxes is to empower voters to get rid of all the government duplications. This is one small step we can take to reduce taxes without sacrificing the quality of government service.”

  • 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.

  • Tom Cullerton passes measure to spread DuPage model throughout Illinois

    TC dupage 041416SPRINGFIELD- To mirror the success seen in DuPage County, State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) has passed his initiative to streamline and remove redundancies in local government.  
    “Through our bipartisan work, we have made DuPage County a leader in government consolidation,” Cullerton said. “It’s time to use the lessons we have learned and spread our success throughout the state to save valuable taxpayer dollars.”
    Cullerton passed Senate Bill 2994, which requires all Illinois county boards to submit a report to the General Assembly recommending units of government that may be dissolved or consolidated.
    This was the first step DuPage County took in its government consolidation efforts. Through this model, the county is projected to save taxpayers more than $100 million over the next 20 years.
    Cullerton acknowledges that Illinois has more than 7,000 government entities that were developed decades ago.
    “Government needs to involve with the needs of the people,” Cullerton said. “It’s our duty to ensure government is working efficiently for Illinois residents.”
    State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington Hills) carried this measure in the House.
    Senate Bill 2994 passed the Senate and House with bipartisan support and now moves to the governor’s desk for consideration.

  • Bertino-Tarrant pledges to vote for funding local services

    Bertino-Tarrant pledges to vote for funding local servicesPLAINFIELD — State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant (D-Shorewood) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois House voting to release $3.1 billion in spending that has been held up by the budget impasse in Springfield.

    “Yesterday’s action was a step in the right direction. This authorization will ensure local governments receive funding needed to pay for emergency services, road projects and other essential programs. I pledge to vote for it when it comes before the Senate.”

    The Senate must pass the legislation, House Amendment 4 to Senate Bill 2039, so that it can be sent to the governor for final approval. A vote on the authorization is scheduled to take place Monday, Dec. 7. Bertino-Tarrant is a Chief Co-Sponsor of the legislation.

    The legislation includes the following components.
    •    $582.5 million to IDOT for local governments share of motor fuel gas tax revenues.
    •    $77 million for 911-related costs.
    •    $1 billion to the Lottery for prizes.
    •    $43 million to the Community College Board for career and technical education activities.
    •    $45 million to the Dept of Revenue so local governments can receive their share of video gaming proceeds.
    •    $3.1 million to the Illinois Math and Science Academy to allow them to access their income funds and pay operating costs.
    •    $31 million to IDOT to purchase road salt.
    •    $2.5 million for breast cancer services and research.
    •    $28 million for nursing home licensing and inspections.
    •    $165 million for home heating bill assistance.
    •    $3.1 million to the Illinois Department of Public Health for the Tobacco Quitline.

  • Tom Cullerton leads the charge to streamline local government

    tc sandack dupageVILLA PARK- In order to provide taxpayers with smaller and more efficient local government State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) crafted legislation to allow the DuPage County Board to dissolve many appointed positions.

    DuPage County is projected to save taxpayers more than $100 million over the next 20 years. To spread the success of this legislation, Cullerton lead the charge this week at Transform Illinois.

    “DuPage County has been a leader in government consolidation by creating a model for other communities to embrace to save Illinois taxpayer dollars,” said Cullerton. “It’s important for us to continue this collaboration to spread the success in DuPage County across the state.”

    Transform Illinois is a collaboration between local elected officials, civic organizations and research institutions dedicated to promoting and supporting local government efficiency efforts. Cullerton says the meeting was productive and brought community leaders from all levels of government to the table.

    “These conversations are vital to streamlining and increasing efficiency at all levels of government,” said Cullerton. “Illinois has over 7,000 government entities that were developed decades ago. It’s important that we make sure government evolves with our needs in mind.”

    Transform Illinois is committed to better coordinating research, advocacy, legislation and policy implementation activities that will improve the effectiveness of government service delivery in Illinois.

    PHOTO: Representative Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove), DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and State Senator Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) participated in a vital discussion at Transform Illinois to save taxpayer dollars and streamline government services. 

  • Murphy calls for funding to be released to prevent possible property tax increase, layoffs

    murphy proptaxSPRINGFIELD- Nearly $583 million in funding for local governments is being held hostage due to the failure to negotiate a state budget by the legislative leaders and governor. As a result, many local governments are being forced to consider significant cuts or find new ways to generate tax dollars, such as a property tax increase. These funds, already collected by the Motor Fuel Tax, have no impact on the total state budget.

    To keep communities from being forced to take these drastic measures, a House panel today voted to release the funding. Former Des Plaines alderman and newly appointed State Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines), supports the proposal.

    “Our communities should not be forced to raise property taxes or layoff police and firefighters because the leaders in Springfield cannot work together to solve the budget crisis they have created. As a former Des Plaines alderman, I know firsthand how important these funds are to our communities,” said Murphy.

    The legislation, House Bill 4305, also releases funding from special state funds to pay prizes for lottery winners and 9-1-1 operators. Similar to the Motor Fuel Tax, the funding has been collected through separate fees and taxes that do not impact the overall state budget.

    The proposal will now head to the full House for a vote.

  • Bush’s plan to increase local government transparency signed into law

    bush econ develGov. Rauner affirms truth in taxation legislation

    SPRINGFIELD — Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law a plan by State Sen. Melinda Bush to ensure news of possible tax changes is more readily accessible to the public.

    “I want to express my gratitude to Gov. Rauner for joining with the General Assembly in affirming this unopposed, common sense plan,” Sen. Bush said. “By posting notices online in addition to print advertising, we disseminate information about important tax hearings more quickly, and give constituents the most opportunity to register support or opposition to a proposal.”

    Current truth in taxation laws require taxing bodies to post notices in newspapers that compare existing property tax levies to their proposed levies. The new law adds a requirement to taxing districts with websites to post such notices on their webpages.

    The new requirements add no additional cost to taxpayers and enable easier sharing of proposals via new media like Twitter and Facebook.

    The legislation was Senate Bill 792. It will become effective Jan. 1, 2016.