A bipartisan effort to give voters statewide the choice to dissolve units of local government is picking up steam in Springfield.
With nearly 7,000 units of local government in Illinois, the most of any state, lawmakers are proposing ways to downsize them. Transform Illinois has been monitoring close to two dozen bills pushing to give residents the choice to dissolve them. DuPage County Chairman Dan Cronin said now is the perfect time to consider consolidation.
“With the crisis in state government with the budget, I think we have to figure out on a local level how to do more with less,” Cronin said.
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Cronin added he’s encouraged by the bipartisan effort in Springfield to reform local governments.
“We need to give tools to local governments, we some structural foundational change,” Cronin said. “It took about 100 years to get us into this mess, it's going to take some time to get out of it.”
In 2011, legislation was passed to give DuPage County the ability to consolidate local government units in the county. Cronin said that bill and current ones proposed in Springfield are the perfect template for counties across Illinois to reduce the size of government and save taxpayers millions.
“I believe, firmly believe you would see a dramatic turnaround in the economy of this state,” Cronin said,” Cronin said.
Two consolidation bills, one allowing counties to dissolve some local governments via referendum, the other allowing a Northern Illinois town to dissolve its sanitary district are headed to the Senate.