Illinois House passes local-government consolidation bill

Illinois House passes local-government consolidation bill

DuPage County is projected to save millions of dollars through government-consolidation authority it has enjoyed for years. Now, the Illinois House of Representatives has voted in favor of a bill that would expand these capabilities to all counties statewide.

The Illinois House of Representations voted April 19 in favor of a bill to increase county governments’ ability to make local government more effective.

House Bill 4501 would expand the power already enjoyed in DuPage County, which has the authority to consolidate local services and dissolve certain kinds of unnecessary government entities. State Rep. Sam Yingling, D-Grayslake sponsored HB 4501, which passed the House on a vote of 93-19.

DuPage County has been named a “model” for executing local-government consolidation. According to the Chicago Tribune:

‘[State officials] outlined the program’s cost savings: A projected $116 million in taxpayer savings through shared services, $20 million in savings since overhauling employee benefits for county workers, and $6.9 million in savings since closing the county’s youth home and instead partnering with Kane County to provide youth detention services.”

The reforms HB 4501 would make available across the state are much needed: Illinois has nearly 7,000 units of local government, by far the most in the nation. It’s no coincidence that Illinois also has the third-highest property taxes in the nation.

HB 4501 was one of the primary recommendations to come out of Lieutenant Governor’s Task Force on Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates. HB 4501 is also part of Illinois Policy Action’s legislative agenda. Illinois Policy Action is excited to see this key part of its legislative agenda move forward and will continue to aggressively advocate for it in the Senate.

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