Consolidating local governments won’t be done in one large piece of legislation, according to Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The final recommendations from his task force on government consolidation and unfunded mandates include elements of Rauner’s legislative agenda, such as changing prevailing wage laws and allowing local voters to decide on what can be collectively bargained by public sector unions.
There were Democrats on the task force who voted in favor of the final report several weeks ago, but had been against those particular measures.
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“Some of the prevailing wage, collective bargaining, some of those issues that obviously were on the governor's 'turnaround agenda' that I don't believe were relevant to government consolidation or the unfunded mandate relief," said State Sen. Linda Holmes on Dec. 17.
While Rauner says there was some level Democratic support for all the recommendations, he’s not asking legislators to package those more controversial proposals with other recommendations from the report.
“There is no single bill that I’m saying has to pass in order to get structural reform and a compromise,” Rauner said. “These 27 recommendations…whether they’re kept as 27 different pieces of legislation, or combined into a package of 10 or 5 or 12, 15, whatever the legislature chooses to do, I’m supportive and flexible on.”
Rauner says the effort to reduce Illinois’ approximately 7,000 units of local government—by far the most of any state—may take the shape of a statewide expansion of a 2013 law affecting only DuPage County, allowing it to dissolve and combine certain governmental entities.