SPRINGFIELD — The task force looking at local government consolidation and unfunded mandates is putting the finishing touches on its recommendations, which includes controversial parts of the governor’s agenda.
The final report of the task force will offer 27 recommendations on cutting down Illinois’ approximately 7,000 units of local government, but also includes proposals to change prevailing wage laws and what can be collectively bargained, both staples of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s so-called “turnaround agenda.”
Even though she voted in favor of the report, State Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora) says she doesn’t support those measures being a part of this effort.
“Some of the prevailing wage, collective bargaining, some of those issues that obviously were on the governor’s ‘turnaround agenda’ that I don’t believe were relevant to government consolidation or the unfunded mandate relief,” Holmes said.
Holmes and others on the task force do believe there’s “low-hanging fruit” that both parties can support when these recommendations are transformed into legislation next year. State Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) believes the “turnaround agenda” items will be kept separate from other consolidation bills.
“I would like to start on nipping at the edges with some stuff that seems pretty common-sense and easy to do first,” Batinick said.
A potential model for the state, according to both Batinick and Holmes, is allowing all counties to dissolve and consolidate units of government as DuPage County was able to do thanks to a law passed specifically for DuPage in 2013.