Jack Franks Bill Allowing Consolidation for McHenry County Headed to Governor

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By Kevin P. Craver on May 31st, 2016:

A bill that seeks to give the McHenry and Lake county boards the power to eliminate certain appointed local governments is headed to the governor’s desk for his signature.

The Illinois House over the weekend approved an amendment to House Bill 229, a measure that has been pushed since 2015 by state Rep. Jack Franks, D-Marengo.

The bill, if enacted, would give the two collar-county boards the same ability to eliminate some taxing bodies that lawmakers gave DuPage County in 2013 as part of a pilot program.

The Senate amendment approved by the House would exempt conservation districts. Although Franks said he dislikes the idea of carving out exemptions, he said he could stomach this one as a compromise measure, given legislation he got passed years ago that would allow voters to make appointed conservation districts popularly elected by voter referendum.

“[DuPage County Board] Chairman Dan Cronin has had great success with this, and he’s said he will save DuPage County millions with this. I want to take that success to McHenry County,” Franks said.

Franks chaired a commission on government consolidation under former Gov. Pat Quinn and served on a task force commissioned by Rauner, who has said that consolidation and property tax reform are necessary to help reverse Illinois’ economic downturn.

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