Jack Franks is a third-generation McHenry County resident who has been elected by McHenry County voters to fight hard for their interests as a State Representative since 1998. Jack is running for McHenry County Board Chairman to reduce property taxes, root out corruption, eliminate government waste and fraud and improve local job opportunities and infrastructure.
Throughout his career, Jack has put McHenry County residents ahead of partisan politics and party insiders. As Chairman of the State Government Administration, he aggressively rooted out corruption and exposed illegal actions in state government. Jack also fought hard for McHenry County communities and businesses while serving as Vice Chairman of the International Trade and Commerce Committee and as a member of the Business Growth and Incentives, Bio-Technology, Veterans’ Affairs and Public Utilities Committees. Jack won wide acclaim for recently passing legislation that would ban part-time county board members from receiving generous full-time pensions at taxpayer expense.
Since first taking office, Jack has played a key role in the fight for property tax relief and enhanced ethics laws. He was also a leader in the fight against making the 2011 income tax hike permanent. He has never supported a tax increase during his time in public service and understands that the tax-and-spend status-quo has failed Illinois residents. On a local level, Jack knows that streamlining county government and eliminating wasteful spending would allow McHenry County to responsibly pay for services while reducing the tax burden on residents and employers that continues to hold our economy back. He supports freezing county property taxes and then reducing the county’s tax levy by 10%
Jack has always been dedicated to improving education in McHenry County. Since taking office, Jack has significantly increased the amount of state funding for McHenry County schools, boosting the foundation level for each student, as well as securing grants for school construction and new technology. Jack has passed legislation to reduce class sizes, heighten standards, increase faculty accountability, strengthen school safety, and, most recently, to study alternatives for students to attend college without assuming thousands of dollars of interest-bearing debt. On a local level, Jack will also focus on coordinating resources to better address the heroin epidemic that is putting the lives of far too many McHenry County children at risk.
Jack fights corruption at all levels of government. In the legislature he was an outspoken critic of disgraced former Governor Rod Blagojevich and was instrumental in his impeachment. In 2008, Franks held the first-ever audit of a sitting governor when he uncovered that the governor had given one million dollars of state funds to a nonexistent school with no assets, no teachers, and no students. Franks then served on the House Special Investigative Committee charged with investigating the abuses of power by the former governor and led the drive to remove him from office. As McHenry County Board Chairman he will be a tough and independent watchdog of county taxpayer dollars and root out waste, fraud and corruption wherever it exists.
Jack is a third-generation resident of McHenry County who attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he studied international relations and political science and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1985. He then attended American University Washington College of Law, where he received his law degree with honors in 1989, and did post-graduate work at the London School of Economics. Jack is fluent in Portuguese and conversational Spanish, and enjoys reading and basketball. Jack’s grandparents came to McHenry County over 70 years ago and his family has lived here ever since. Jack and his wife, Debby reside in Marengo with their two sons, Sam and Henry.