Rauner puts suburban lawmakers on mandate-cutting board

  • Lt. Gov Evelyn of Wheaton, who was sworn in in January, will lead  commission on government consolidation and unfunded mandates.

    Lt. Gov Evelyn of Wheaton, who was sworn in in January, will lead commission on government consolidation and unfunded mandates.

 
 
Updated 3/13/2015 5:45 PM

Gov. Bruce Rauner has named a number of suburban officials to a committee aimed at consolidating some of Illinois' many government agencies and curbing state laws that cost local governments money.

The group is led by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, a Wheaton Republican.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Rauner has asked local governments to cut their spending in an effort to freeze property taxes for two years. He's also proposed cutting in half what towns and counties get from state income taxes, leading some suburban mayors to say a property tax hike would be inevitable under his plans.

Members of the Local Government and Unfunded Mandate Task Force include: Democratic state Rep. Jack Franks of Marengo, Republican state Sen. Dan Duffy of Lake Barrington, Democratic state Sen. Linda Holmes of Aurora, Barrington Mayor Karen Darch, DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin, Naperville Township Assessor Warren L. Dixon III, and DuPage County Regional Superintendent Darlene Ruscitti.

Any big changes the group proposes might have to be approved by local officials, and some -- particularly consolidating governments -- might need the green light from state lawmakers.

Rauner made a point of inviting Cronin, a former GOP state senator from Elmhurst, to his State of the State speech in February and lauded him for consolidating government taxing bodies and eliminating some, such as a fire district that had no equipment but contracted out for services.

Illinois has nearly 7,000 separate taxing bodies, ranging from counties to townships to fire protection districts, Rauner said.

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