January 12, 2018
To the Honorable Members of
The Illinois House of Representatives,
100th General Assembly:
Today I veto House Bill 171 from the 100th General Assembly, which would codify the authority of certain county board chairmen to create standing committees and appoint members to standing committees subject to those boards’ approval.
We should not be codifying in state law carve-outs and special solutions that only apply to certain counties to account for local concerns. Passing state law on such specific question of local authority undermines local control and the ability to create rules as elected Board’s may deem appropriate.
This legislation, which stems from a disagreement about a change in McHenry County Board rules that stripped the Chairman of his historical authority to create and appoint members to committees, does just that. While the county governance model introduced by this legislation may represent good practice and a healthy balance of power between the local officials for McHenry County, it is not appropriately addressed by state legislation.
Instead, questions concerning the balance of power within local governments can be most appropriately reconsidered by local voters. Just as the citizens of a county can vote via referendum on whether their county adopts an executive form of government, so too should they be able to determine the appropriate power balance in question in this bill.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 171, entitled “AN ACT concerning local government,” with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.