EXECUTIVE ORDER 15-15
EXECUTIVE ORDER INITIATING CONSOLIDATION OF LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND SCHOOL DISTRICTS, AND ELIMINATING UNFUNDED MANDATES
WHEREAS, local governments and school districts deliver critical public services that attract and retain residents and businesses; and
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois has 6,963 units of local government according to the 2012 Census of Governments, the highest number in the United States by more than 1,800 units; and
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois has 102 county governments, the sixth highest number in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois has 905 school and community college districts, the third highest number in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois has 1,431 township governments, the third highest number in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois has 3,227 special district governments, the highest number in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the State of Illinois has 1,298 municipal governments, the highest number in the United States; and
WHEREAS, efficient provision of government and education services is essential to the prevention of waste; and
WHEREAS, unfunded mandates create burdens upon local governments and school districts, reducing efficiency; and
WHEREAS, Illinois school districts have been saddled with at least 140 unfunded mandates since 2000; and
WHEREAS, local governments and school districts throughout Illinois have successfully consolidated functions to reduce overall costs, increase efficiency and improve delivery of services; and
WHEREAS, state policy should encourage cooperation amongst local governments and school districts to consolidate and streamline functions, and eliminate unfunded mandates;
THEREFORE, I, Bruce Rauner, Governor of the State of Illinois, pursuant to the supreme executive authority vested in me by Article V, Section 8 of the Illinois State Constitution of 1970, hereby order as follows:
There is hereby created the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force (the “Task Force”) having the duties and powers set forth herein. The Task Force shall consist of members appointed by the Governor, and be residents of the State of Illinois representing public and private organizations with an interest in strengthening the efficiency and accountability of government and education services throughout the State.
Membership of the Task Force shall include, but not be limited to, representatives of units of local government, school districts, and the General Assembly.
The Lieutenant-Governor, or her designee, shall serve as the chair of the Task Force. The Task Force members shall serve on the Task Force without compensation for a term of 12 months. The Governor may fill any vacancies when they occur.
The purpose of the Task Force shall be to study issues of local government and school district consolidation and redundancy, and to make recommendations that will ensure accountable and efficient government and education in the State of Illinois. The Task Force shall:
Conduct a comprehensive review of State laws relating to local government and school district consolidation;
Conduct a comprehensive review of State laws relating to unfunded mandates on local government bodies and school districts;
Identify opportunities to consolidate, streamline, or eliminate duplicative governmental bodies, school districts, and taxing authorities;
Identify opportunities to replace, revise, or repeal unfunded mandates placed on local government and school districts:
Discuss solutions and impediments to consolidation of local governments and school districts;
Analyze the success of programs and legislation with similar goals implemented in Illinois and other states; and
Prepare a final report to the Governor and the General Assembly making specific recommendations to consolidate local governments and school districts with the goal of improving the delivery of government and education services at a lower cost to State taxpayers.
The Illinois Department of Central Management Services shall provide administrative support to the Task Force as needed, including providing an ethics officer, an Open Meetings Act officer, and a Freedom of Information Act officer.
The Task Force shall hold at least four meetings throughout the State, but otherwise shall meet at the call of the chair.
The Task Force shall submit its final report to the Governor and the General Assembly by December 31, 2015.
Upon submission of its final report the Task Force shall be dissolved.
In addition to whatever policies or procedures it may adopt, all operations of the Task Force will be subject to the provisions of the Illinois Freedom of Information Act (5 ILCS 140/1 et seq.) and the Illinois Open Meetings Act (5 ILCS 120/1 et seq.).
If any provision of this Executive Order is found invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, the remaining provisions shall remain in full force and effect.
VI. EFFECTIVE DATE
This Executive Order shall take effect immediately upon filing with the Secretary of State.
Bruce Rauner, Governor
Issued by Governor: February 13, 2015
Filed with Secretary of State: February 17, 2015