Illinois has more units of local government than any other state, and Republican candidates for governor say that must change. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the state has 6,963 units of government, which includes everything from townships to mosquito abatement districts. State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) believes the solution is to give those districts some incentive to scale back.
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“We have to consolidate these units,” Dillard said. “I think you hold out a carrot and a stick approach.” State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) agrees, but says in certain areas of the state, those local units work. “There are areas where we need to make sure that local citizens have the power to govern themselves and eliminate duplicative governments,” Brady said, “but that doesn’t mean in some places those small governments aren’t efficient and effective and save taxpayers money.”
State legislators gave DuPage County special authority to eliminate taxing bodies last year, and that law was touted as a model that could be applied to the rest of Illinois.