Last month, Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti released a 400-page report that examined the size and cost of government in this state and included recommendations on how to reduce the bloat.
Last week, Gov. Bruce Rauner followed through on the Sanguinetti commission’s report with a package of legislative proposals that would implement some of its recommended changes.
The proposals make sense because they empower local officials and voters to make changes in government structure that they believe will be efficient and cost-effective.
It is, however, disappointing that the four pieces of legislation Rauner is backing have, so far at least, attracted the sponsorship of only one Democrat, state Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo.
Having led a legislative study of the issue, Franks is a longtime supporter of the concept of government consolidation. So it’s not surprising that he has embraced some of Rauner’s proposals.
But there is no reason other Democrats should not join him. The idea of government consolidation is not a partisan issue — it’s a common-sense move aimed at saving tax dollars so they can be spent more effectively elsewhere…..
Resizing government will be hugely difficult; it overturns the status quo of too many people. But it’s necessary.
Illinois is effectively bankrupt. It can’t afford to fund necessary government, let alone pointlessly bloated government.
Rauner is on the right track by suggesting a new approach to business as usual. In Rep. Franks, he’s got a good partner in this effort. But more Democrats need to join Franks to ensure these proposals get the serious hearing they deserve.