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Franks bill would stop new units of local government from forming

Published: Monday, March 10, 2014 2:24 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, March 10, 2014 2:43 p.m. CDT

Jack Franks introduced a bill last week that would stop the growth of new units of local government.

Franks, D-Marengo, pointed to Illinois' almost 7,000 units of government – nearly 2,000 more than Texas, the next closest state – as a reason for residents' high property tax bills and general governmental inefficiencies.

"I know that the creation of additional government is not the solution," Franks said. "It only creates a bigger problem."

House Bill 3251 would place a moratorium on the Illinois General Assembly's authority to enact legislation that creates any new unit of local government, except for new entities created as a result of the consolidation of two or more existing units, Franks said.

"We have way too many levels of government and it's reflected on our property tax bills," he said. "We have so many layers of government that are highly inefficient. I want to stop the bleeding."

Franks, who is also chairman of the state Local Government Consolidation Commission, said there are already too many units of government such as school districts and roadway districts in sparsely-populated areas, and something needs to be done to stop the creation of more government entities.

"When you've got a problem, you stop digging a hole," he said. "You stop digging deeper."

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