05152017CM0561SPRINGFIELD – Voters would be empowered to decide local government consolidation measures under a plan passed in the Senate yesterday and sponsored by State Senator Julie Morrison (D – Deerfield).

“Illinois has the most units of local government of any state in the country,” Morrison said. “By empowering local voters, who know the needs of their communities, we are providing the opportunity to increase efficiencies and reduce costs to taxpayers.”

Current Illinois law allows townships in Cook County to place a referendum on the ballot asking voters whether a township road district should be abolished and the responsibilities of maintaining roadways transferred to the township.

House Bill 607 would expand this ability to every county in Illinois. In many North Suburban townships, municipal growth has led to the annexing of former unincorporated land, leaving many township road districts with very little responsibility while still maintaining their status as a taxing district.

“Local governmental bodies and the residents they serve must have the ability to make decisions that are in the best interests of taxpayers,” Morrison said.

House Bill 607 passed the Senate yesterday on a 43-7 vote and now heads to the governor’s desk for his approval.

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