Approaches to consolidating local government services

01 Jun

This government structure generally increases accountability as officials are beholden to their constituents, but the elections for these positions traditionally have poor voter turnout as they do not occur on general election days.The bill would apply to Cemetery Maintenance, Civic Center, Public Health, Tuberculosis Sanitarium, County Historical Museum, Museum, Illinois International Port Authority, Solid Waste Disposal, Street Light, Surface Water Protection, Water Service, Water Authority, and Water Commission districts.As a result, a total of 40 special districts in northeastern Illinois would be eligible for consolidation.Most local governments must perform their own audits and financial reporting.This can be a demanding task for smaller special districts with limited resources, and at the expense of transparency and accountability, a number of local governments have not succeeded in fulfilling these financial requirements.

The bill would require special districts pursuing dissolution to have a majority vote by both the dissolving government and the receiving government.On the effective date of the dissolution, the receiving government would assume all responsibilities and employees of the dissolving special district.Based on these findings, the commission proposed six recommendations that focus on eliminating barriers to consolidation and resolving certain discrepancies in the Illinois statutes governing local governments and special districts: House Bill 5785 provides a formal process for several types of special districts to be consolidated with overlapping units of government.