Government Consolidation Law Called A Good First Step

Aug 27, 2014

State Rep. Jack Franks

Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a bill that enables certain local taxing bodies to merge or dissolve.

Before the law was passed, local units of government had no authority to do so. Now, a majority vote from a local board will allow for consolidation for the sake of efficiency.

State Representative, Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat, is a key sponsor of the bill. But he admits it won't be easy to convince these units of government to go along.

"Very few organizations are going to voluntarily do this. Nonetheless, now that the ability to have this done exists, citizens can put the pressure on their elected officials to make this happen," Franks said.

Franks, who recently chaired the House consolidation committee, says that pressure can come in the form of petitions, ballot initiatives, or voting people out of office.

He also says because it was difficult to get the measure through, they had to limit the scope of governmental bodies affected by the changes.

Illinois leads the nation with nearly 7,000 taxing bodies in place. But some observers fear that efforts like this could lead to less democracy.