Illinois has more units of government than any other state and activists’ efforts to reduce that number have come up short.
The State Journal Register reports that Illinois is home to almost 7,000 different bodies each with its own administrative needs, equipment, budget, and taxing ability.
Coming in a far second is Pennsylvania with about 5,000 units.
Despite cries to consolidate overlapping school districts, abolish unnecessary townships and streamline government services, the number of units of Illinois government has decreased by only twenty-six in the last five years.
The BGA policy unit has called for a reduction in the number of stand-alone government units along with the consolidation and sharing of government services and systems where they overlap.
Specifically, a BGA investigation found that Illinois has more townships than any other state, and that of many of these townships provide services already or otherwise easily provided by other municipalities.
Read the State Journal Register article
- Daily Herald—District 300 looks to trim budget by $8.3 million, “With the state lagging millions of dollars behind in payments, and contract negotiations under way with the teachers union and other employment groups, Community Unit District 300 school administrators presented a plan to ensure the ‘economic survivability of the school district.’”
- Daily Herald/BGA—Oak Brook mayor, wife collect $142k from 4 pensions, “Oak Brook Village President John Craig portrays himself as a fiscal conservative who favors privatizing more of the fire department and laying off firefighters to scale back costs for salaries and for pensions ”we just can’t afford.”
- Chicago Sun-Times—Better Government Association sues Chicago Police Department, “The BGA, a not-for-profit corporation, claims the Chicago police refuses to release documents about the protection and transportation of Burke (14th) as requested in an Aug. 24, 2010, Freedom of Information Act request, according to the complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court.”
- State Journal-Register—2 percentage point income tax hike on table for state leaders, “Legislative leaders and Gov. Pat Quinn will meet today to discuss boosting Illinois’ income tax rate from the current 3 percent to 5 percent as part of a package that also could include pension borrowing, a moratorium on new state programs, no new spending and property tax relief.”
- Bloomington Pantagraph—Illinois Senate approves Medicaid reform, “With the clock ticking on the lame-duck legislative session, the Illinois Senate unanimously approved a plan Wednesday to overhaul the state’s Medicaid program.”
- State Journal-Register—Tenaska bill falls short in Senate, “A bill authorizing construction of a $3.5 billion clean coal technology plant in Taylorville failed in a vote in the Illinois Senate Wednesday.”
- Belleville News Democrat—Insurance fraud investigators begin probe into workers’ comp claims at Menard, “State insurance fraud investigators have opened an official probe of the Menard Correctional Center, where hundreds of guards and others have filed for or received taxpayer-funded settlements for “repetitive trauma” they say was mainly caused by operating heavy cell locking mechanisms.”
- Southtown Star—U.S. House welcomes five from Illinois, “The Illinois congressional delegation has the biggest freshman class in more than a decade — five new House members and U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk were sworn in to full terms on Wednesday, all Republicans.”
- Southtown Star, Editorial—Unfair election process taints suburban hearings, “Whenever suburban elections approach, dozens of poor slobs find themselves caught up in a process designed to stop outsiders from threatening the people in power.”
- Chicago Tribune, Editorial: Reform—or eyewash? “Springfield is buzzing with reform talk in the final frantic days of this brief, few-days conclusion to a 2010 legislative session.”
- (AP) State Journal Register—Quinn looks at bonds to cover budget deficit: “Several lawmakers said Tuesday that Gov. Pat Quinn has been discussing plans to borrow billions of dollars to help soak up the state’s pool of red ink, which could be a hard sell when legislators reconvene next month.”