(Wheaton ...) DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin and representatives of the Transform Illinois coalition gathered in Springfield April 6 to support proposed legislation limiting the size, scope and cost of local government.
Coalition members were joined by a bi-partisan group of legislators who have sponsored 22 bills creating new opportunities for local government efficiency. Transform Illinois supports this legislation, which would give new tools to local governments to improve efficiency, empower voters to make decisions and increase transparency and accountability. A list of these bills is available on the Transform Illinois website, www.transformillinois.org, and more details can be found on the Illinois General Assembly website, www.ilga.gov.
“Illinois has more units of government than any other state in the nation and the second-highest property tax rate. Many of these units were created in our parents’ or grandparents’ time and need to be reviewed, reformed or reduced. We salute lawmakers who take on this issue with an eye toward a modern, streamlined system of local government which provides both service and value for taxpayers,” said DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin.
“While we know there aren’t any one-size-fits-all solutions, the 22 bills lawmakers have proposed would increase transparency and accountability at the local level, encourage and enable local government officials to consider new structures, and empower voters to streamline local governments that are no longer serving their purpose,” said MarySue Barrett, president, Metropolitan Planning Council. “These are critically important tools to bring change to scale.”
Created in 2014, Transform Illinois is committed to better coordinating research, advocacy, legislative and policy implementation activities that will improve the effectiveness of government service delivery in Illinois. Members include Chairman Cronin, Metropolitan Planning Council, Better Government Association, Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning, Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Metropolitan Mayors Caucus, Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies and Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois.
"Mayors know that consolidation can be a good experience. We are not just suggesting consolidating, streamlining and reforming some distant government,” said Village of Frankfort Mayor Jim Holland, who also chairs the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus. “My colleagues in local government and I ask the state to provide the enabling legislation that helps us consolidate, streamline and reform so that we can find more ways to work with other local governments to provide better services at lower costs to our constituents."
“As you can see from the lawmakers standing before you today, this is not a partisan issue. It’s a good government issue,” said Alden Loury, senior policy analyst, Better Government Association. “While there’s a lot of attention being paid to what’s wrong with government in Illinois, today we’re pointing you to 22 solutions that are due consideration by the Illinois General Assembly.”
“Taxpayers deserve more opportunities to have a direct say when it comes to how local governments are managing their resources. After all, this is about ensuring that their needs are met by the local governments they elected,” said Carol Portman, president, Taxpayers’ Federation of Illinois. “We applaud the lawmakers standing with us today who are taking up the call to do just that, and will look forward to supporting these proposals.”
For more information, contact Mandy Burrell Booth, MPC communications director, at 312-863-6018 or firstname.lastname@example.org; or Joan Olson, DuPage County communications manager, at 630-204-5820 or email@example.com.