Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SB0494
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Full Text of SB0494  98th General Assembly


Sen. Thomas Cullerton

Filed: 4/23/2013





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 494, AS AMENDED, by
3replacing everything after the enacting clause with the
5    "Section 5. The Counties Code is amended by adding Division
65-44 to Article 5 and Sections 5-44005, 5-44010, 5-44015,
75-44020, 5-44025, 5-44030, 5-44035, 5-44040, 5-44045, 5-44050,
8and 5-44055 as follows:
9    (55 ILCS 5/Div. 5-44 heading new)
Division 5-44. Local Government Reduction and Efficiency

11    (55 ILCS 5/5-44005 new)
12    Sec. 5-44005. Findings and purpose.
13    (a) The General Assembly finds:
14        (1) Illinois has more units of local government than
15    any other state.



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1        (2) The large number of units of local government
2    results in the inefficient delivery of governmental
3    services at a higher cost to taxpayers.
4        (3) In a number of cases, units of local government
5    provide services that are duplicative in nature, as they
6    are provided by other units of local government.
7        (4) It is in the best interest of taxpayers that more
8    efficient service delivery structures be established in
9    order to replace units of local government that are not
10    financially sustainable.
11        (5) Units of local government managed by appointed
12    governing boards not directly accountable to the
13    electorate can encourage a lack of oversight and
14    complacency that is not in the best interest of taxpayers.
15        (6) Various provisions of Illinois law governing the
16    dissolution of units of local government are inconsistent
17    and outdated.
18        (7) The lack of a streamlined method to consolidate
19    government functions and to dissolve units of local
20    government results in an unfair tax burden on the citizens
21    of the State of Illinois residing in those units of local
22    government and prevents the expenditure of limited public
23    funds for critical programs and services.
24    (b) The purpose of this Act is to provide county boards
25with supplemental authority regarding the dissolution of units
26of local government and the consolidation of governmental



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2    (55 ILCS 5/5-44010 new)
3    Sec. 5-44010. Applicability. The powers and authorities
4provided by this Division 5-44 apply only to counties with a
5population of more than 900,000 and less than 3,000,000 that
6are contiguous to a county with a population of more than
73,000,000 and units of local government within such counties.
8    (55 ILCS 5/5-44015 new)
9    Sec. 5-44015. Powers; supplemental. The Sections of this
10Division 5-44 are intended to be supplemental and in addition
11to all other powers and authorities granted to any county
12board, shall be construed liberally, and shall not be construed
13as a limitation of any power or authority otherwise granted.
14    (55 ILCS 5/5-44020 new)
15    Sec. 5-44020. Definitions. In this Division 5-44:
16    "Fire protection jurisdiction" means a fire protection
17district, municipal fire department, or service organized
18under Section 5-1056.1 of the Counties Code, Sections 195 and
19200 of the Township Code, Section 10-2.1 of the Illinois
20Municipal Code, or the Illinois Fire Protection District Act.
21    "Governing board" means the individual or individuals who
22constitute the corporate authorities of a unit of local
23government; and



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1    "Unit of local government" or "unit" means any unit of
2local government located entirely within one county, to which
3the county board chairman or county executive directly appoints
4a majority of its governing board with the advice and consent
5of the county board, but shall not include a fire protection
6district that directly employs any regular full-time employees
7or a special district organized under the Water Commission Act
8of 1985.
9    (55 ILCS 5/5-44025 new)
10    Sec. 5-44025. Dissolution of units of local government.
11    (a) A county board may, by ordinance, propose the
12dissolution of a unit of local government. The ordinance shall
13detail the purpose and cost savings to be achieved by such
14dissolution, and be published in a newspaper of general
15circulation served by the unit of local government and on the
16county's website, if applicable.
17    (b) Upon the effective date of an ordinance enacted
18pursuant to subsection (a) of this Section, the chairman of the
19county board shall cause an audit of all claims against the
20unit, all receipts of the unit, the inventory of all real and
21personal property owned by the unit or under its control or
22management, and any debts owed by the unit. The chairman may,
23at his or her discretion, undertake any other audit or
24financial review of the affairs of the unit. The person or
25entity conducting such audit shall report the findings of the



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1audit to the county board and to the chairman of the county
2board within 30 days.
3    (c) Following the return of the audit report required by
4subsection (b) of this Section, the county board may adopt an
5ordinance dissolving the unit 150 days following the effective
6date of the ordinance. Upon adoption of the ordinance, but not
7before the end of the 30 day period set forth in subsection (e)
8of this Section and prior to its effective date, the chairman
9of the county board shall petition the circuit court for an
10order designating a trustee-in-dissolution for the unit,
11immediately terminating the terms of the members of the
12governing board of the unit of local government on the
13effective date of the ordinance, and providing for the
14compensation of the trustee, which shall be paid from the
15corporate funds of the unit.
16    (d) Upon the effective date of an ordinance enacted under
17subsection (c) of this Section, and notwithstanding any other
18provision of law, the State's attorney, or his or her designee,
19shall become the exclusive legal representative of the
20dissolving unit of local government. The county treasurer shall
21become the treasurer of the unit of local government and the
22county clerk shall become the secretary of the unit of local
24    (e) Any dissolution of a unit of local government proposed
25pursuant to this Act shall be subject to a backdoor referendum.
26In addition to, or as part of, the authorizing ordinance



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1enacted pursuant to subsection (c) of this Section, a notice
2shall be published that includes: (1) the specific number of
3voters required to sign a petition requesting that the question
4of dissolution be submitted to referendum; (2) the time when
5such petition must be filed; (3) the date of the prospective
6referendum; and (4) the statement of the costs savings and the
7purpose or basis for the dissolution as set forth in the
8authorizing ordinance under subsection (a) of this Section. The
9county's election authority shall provide a petition form to
10anyone requesting one. If no petition is filed with the
11county's election authority within 30 days of publication of
12the authorizing ordinance and notice, the ordinance shall
13become effective.
14    However, the election authority shall certify the question
15for submission at the next election held in accordance with
16general election law if a petition: (1) is filed within the
1730-day period; (2) is signed by electors numbering either 7.5%
18of the registered voters in the governmental unit or 200
19registered voters, whichever is less; and (3) asks that the
20question of dissolution be submitted to referendum.
21    The election authority shall submit the question to voters
22residing in the area served by the unit of local government in
23substantially the following form:
24        Shall the county board be authorized to dissolve [name
25    of unit of local government]?
26    The election authority shall record the votes as "Yes" or



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2    If a majority of the votes cast on the question at such
3election are in favor of dissolution of the unit of local
4government and provided that notice of the referendum was
5provided as set forth in Section 12-5 of the Election Code, the
6county board is authorized to proceed pursuant to subsection
7(c) of this Section.
8    (55 ILCS 5/5-44030 new)
9    Sec. 5-44030. Trustee-in-dissolution; powers and duties.
10    (a) The trustee-in-dissolution shall have the following
11powers and duties:
12        (1) to execute all of the powers and duties of the
13    previous board;
14        (2) to levy and rebate taxes, subject to the approval
15    of the county board, for the purpose of paying the debts,
16    obligations, and liabilities of the unit that are
17    outstanding on the date of the dissolution and the
18    necessary expenses of closing up the affairs of the
19    district if these funds are not available from the unit of
20    local government's general fund;
21        (3) to present, within 30 days of his or her
22    appointment, a plan for the consolidation and dissolution
23    of the unit of local government to the county board for its
24    approval. The plan shall identify what functions, if any,
25    of the unit of local government shall be undertaken by the



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1    county upon dissolution and whether any taxes previously
2    levied for the provision of these functions shall be
3    maintained;
4        (4) to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with
5    one or more governmental entities to utilize existing
6    resources including, but not limited to, labor, materials,
7    and property, as may be needed to carry out the foregoing
8    duties;
9        (5) to enter into an intergovernmental agreement with
10    the county to combine or transfer any of the powers,
11    privileges, functions, or authority of the unit of local
12    government to the county as may be required to facilitate
13    the transition; and
14        (6) to sell the property of the unit and, in case any
15    excess remains after all liabilities of the unit are paid,
16    the excess shall be transferred to a special fund created
17    and maintained by the county treasurer to be expended
18    solely to defer the costs incurred by the county in
19    performing the duties of the unit, subject to the
20    requirements of Section 5-44035 of this Division. Nothing
21    in this Section shall prohibit the county from acquiring
22    any or all real or personal property of the district.
23    (b) For fire protection jurisdictions, the
24trustee-in-dissolution shall not have:
25        (1) the powers enumerated in this Section unless the
26    dissolution of that unit of local government shall not



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1    increase the average response times nor decrease the level
2    of services provided; and
3        (2) the power to decrease the levy that is in effect on
4    or before the date of dissolution of the fire protection
5    jurisdiction that affects the provision of fire and
6    emergency medical services.
7    (55 ILCS 5/5-44035 new)
8    Sec. 5-44035. Outstanding indebtedness.
9    (a) In case any unit dissolved pursuant to this Division
10has bonds or notes outstanding that are a lien on funds
11available in the treasury at the time of consolidation, such
12lien shall be unimpaired by such dissolution and the lien shall
13continue in favor of the bond or note holders. The funds
14available subject to such a lien shall be set apart and held
15for the purpose of retiring such secured debt and no such funds
16shall be transferred into the general funds of the county.
17    (b) In case any unit dissolved pursuant to this Division
18has unsecured debts outstanding at the time of dissolution, any
19funds in the treasury of such unit or otherwise available and
20not committed shall, to the extent necessary, be applied to the
21payment of such debts.
22    (c) All property in the territory served by the dissolved
23unit of government shall be subject to taxation to pay the
24debts, bonds, and obligations of the dissolved district. The
25county board shall abate this taxation upon the discharge of



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1all outstanding obligations.
2    (55 ILCS 5/5-44040 new)
3    Sec. 5-44040. Effect of dissolution. Immediately upon the
4dissolution of a unit of local government pursuant to this
6    (a) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Special Service
7Area Tax Law of the Property Tax Code that pertain to the
8establishment of special service areas, all or part of the
9territory formerly served by the dissolved unit of local
10government may be established as a special service area or
11areas of the county if the county board by resolution
12determines that this designation is necessary for it to provide
13services. The special service area, if created, shall include
14all territory formerly served by the dissolved unit of local
15government if the dissolved unit has outstanding indebtedness.
16If the boundaries of a special service area created under this
17subsection include territory within a municipality, the
18corporate authorities of that municipality may, with the
19consent of the county, assume responsibility for the special
20service area and become its governing body.
21    All or part of the territory formerly served by a dissolved
22fire protection jurisdiction shall not be established as a
23special service area unless the creation of the special service
24area does not increase the average response times nor decrease
25the level of service provided.



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1    (b) In addition to any other powers provided by law, the
2governing body of a special service area created pursuant to
3this subsection shall assume and is authorized to exercise all
4the powers and duties of the dissolved unit with respect to the
5special service area. The governing body is also authorized to
6continue to levy any tax previously imposed by the unit of
7local government within the special service area. However, the
8governing board shall not have the power to decrease the levy
9that is in effect on or before the date of dissolution of the
10fire protection jurisdiction that affects the provision of fire
11and emergency medical services.
12    (c) Subsequent increases of the current tax levy within the
13special service area or areas shall be made in accordance with
14the provisions of the Special Service Area Tax Law of the
15Property Tax Code.
16    (55 ILCS 5/5-44045 new)
17    Sec. 5-44045. Abatement of levy. Whenever a county has
18dissolved a unit of local government pursuant to this Division,
19the county or municipality shall, within 6 months of the
20effective date of the dissolution and every year thereafter,
21evaluate the need to continue any existing tax levy until the
22county or municipality abates the levy in the manner set forth
23by the Special Service Area Tax Law of the Property Tax Code.
24    (55 ILCS 5/5-44050 new)



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1    Sec. 5-44050. Tax collection and enforcement. The
2dissolution of a unit of government pursuant to this Division
3shall not adversely affect proceedings for the collection or
4enforcement of any tax. Those proceedings shall continue to
5finality as though no dissolution had taken place. The proceeds
6thereof shall be paid over to the treasurer of the county to be
7used for the purpose for which the tax was levied or assessed.
8Proceedings to collect and enforce such taxes may be instituted
9and carried on in the name of the unit.
10    (55 ILCS 5/5-44055 new)
11    Sec. 5-44055. Litigation. All suits pending in any court on
12behalf of or against a unit dissolved pursuant to this Division
13may be prosecuted or defended in the name of the county by the
14state's attorney. All judgments obtained for a unit dissolved
15pursuant to this Division shall be collected and enforced by
16the county for its benefit.
17    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
18becoming law.".