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Article posted: 5/14/2013 6:51 PM

Lawmakers allow DuPage board to pare back government

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SPRINGFIELD -- Gov. Pat Quinn will soon get to decide whether DuPage County officials will be allowed to eliminate as many as 13 local governments in an effort to save money.

The Illinois House sent Quinn legislation Tuesday allowing the cuts by a 108-6 vote. None of the "no" votes were from DuPage County.

DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin had asked for the authority and said the process of trying to cut governments could start soon. The legislation allows for the elimination of boards such as the Wheaton Mosquito Abatement District and DuPage Fair & Exposition Authority.

"Now the heavy lifting starts," Cronin said.

The plan, sponsored by Democratic state Rep. Deborah Conroy of Elmhurst, sets out a multi-step process of eliminating a government and a way to transfer its responsibilities elsewhere. And there's a way for voters to save a government if they protest.

Illinois often faces criticism for having more layers of government than other states, but eliminating them can be contentious and often fails.

Giving Cronin and the county board more power to eliminate governments themselves, supporters say, could get the process going.

"This could definitely be a model used across the state," said state Rep. Dennis Reboletti, an Elmhurst Republican.

Cronin says he's not necessarily looking to eliminate all 13 governments the legislation allows. But according to his office, the eligible ones are: Downers Grove Sanitary District, DuPage Airport Authority, DuPage Fair & Exposition Authority, DuPage Housing Authority, Fairview Fire Protection District, Glenbard Fire Protection District, Highland Hills Sanitary District, North Westmont Fire Protection District, Salt Creek Sanitary District, West Chicago Mosquito Abatement District, Wheaton Mosquito Abatement District, Wheaton Sanitary District and Century Hill Street Lighting District.

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