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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Municipal Consolidation Bill Still Alive in Illinois House

We've been following a bill that would amend the Illinois Municipal Code to establish a process for consolidation of two or more municipalities. See HB 5777.

Currently, section 7-2-1 of the Illinois Municipal Code provides authority for two or more contiguous municipalities to unite into one incorporated city through a process that is initiated by the filing of a petition in the circuit court and then proceeds to a referendum vote. 

HB 5777, if adopted, would substantially change that process in a number of ways.  First, it would provide for the consolidation of two or more contiguous municipalities into one contiguous city or village. It would eliminate the circuit court process entirely and instead be initiated by the filing with the county election authority of a petition signed by 10% of the electors of each municipality or 250 such electors (whichever is less). The statute would prohibit any elected official, member, employee, or contractor of the municipalities subject to the petition from using governmental or public resources in opposing or supporting the petition. Finally, instead of requiring the approval of the referendum by a majority of voters in each municipality affected by the consolidation, the statute would only require a majority vote in any of the affected municipalities. 

Because this legislation raises a lot of questions for Illinois municipalities, we will follow the bill and report back if it passes.

Post Authored by Julie Tappendorf


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