McSweeney vows to continue push for suburban consolidation plan despite veto

State Rep. David McSweeney pledged Monday to reintroduce a plan to make it easier for McHenry County voters to abolish local townships after it was vetoed by outgoing Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The plan also would have required townships in Lake and McHenry counties to dissolve road districts that maintain less than 15 miles.

McSweeney, who championed the bill through the statehouse, blasted Rauner as "the worst governor in the history of the state of Illinois."

"He was a phony, a liar and a hypocrite," said McSweeney, a Barrington Hills Republican. "He said he supported consolidating local government but he then vetoed this,"

In a statement Friday, Rauner said he thought the change should be statewide.

"While I applaud the effort to create a clear process that aligns with the Illinois Constitution's vision that townships may be dissolved if approved by referendum, this is a process that should be available with equal clarity across the state," Rauner said.

McSweeney said in November that he wanted to push for a statewide version of the plan after seeing it work in Lake and McHenry counties first.

State Sen. Craig Wilcox, a McHenry Republican, applauded Rauner's decision on Friday, citing his concern that McSweeney's plan would require taxpayers within dissolved townships to pay any debt transferred to the county.

"Rauner's action gives my colleagues and me the opportunity to bring a more comprehensive bill forward that better protects taxpayers," Wilcox said.

McSweeney said Wilcox's concerns are addressed by the vetoed plan because the amount of transferred debt would be capped and called his issues with the bill "red herrings."

"Instead of being constructive and participating in the process, he led the opposition against the bill," McSweeney said.

McSweeney's plan passed both chambers without the broad support of his Republican colleagues. He called those who opposed the plan "hypocrites" who liked talking about lowering property taxes but cared more about preserving their personal "political fiefdoms."

McSweeney said he is confident he'll be able to pass the plan through the statehouse again and believes new Gov. J.B. Pritzker will sign it.

State Sen. Craig Wilcox
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