Local ballot measures, Illinois

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Local issues stack up in Illinois


SPRINGFIELD, Illinois: Local issues continue to be added to the November ballot, some issues of note include a home rule question in Mt Vernon and a question about dismantling wards in Highwood. In the city of Mt Vernon, which is in Jefferson County, local residents will be asked if they want to keep their community a home rule municipality. The option of home rule was allowed in Illinois beginning in 1971 and so far 290 communities and one county, Cook County, have home rule powers. The home rule option gives the community more control over governance in the city such as allowing for more control over taxation, incurring debts and how funds are spent. Residents will be asked if they want to repeal home rule in the city.[1]

Residents in the city of Highwood, which is in Lake County, will be asked if they want to get rid of the current ward system and instead vote for City Council members at large. Currently the city is divided into four wards, but some have stated that the city is too small for a ward system and would do better with at large members. The issues was brought to the ballot through a petition by a former council member. Issues have arisen with this measure, since members are currently running for office for their wards, if the measure is approved it is unclear how it would be implemented with new members being elected into office. Proponents of eliminating the current ward system say that the current system does not work and having members accountable to the entire city would be more effective.[2]

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School bond and tax votes

See also: School bond and tax elections in Illinois

Illinois mandates school districts to hold elections issuing bonding for new construction and capital improvements, exceeding the property tax cap, or create a working cash fund. Since 2006, Illinois has had referendums over the property tax cap which is governed under the Illinois Property Tax Cap Act of 2006 which requires voter approval if a school district wants to exceed their property tax cap for up to four years. The other type of referendum is a Chapter 20 referendum. Under Chapter 20, a school district must have voter approval if the voters petition a school district to create a working cash fund to pay liabilities. Only school districts that serve a city, town, or village less than 500,000 in population can hold a Chapter 20 referendum.

Pension reform

In multiple areas in Illinois, local ballots have an advisory question about Pension reforms at the state level for public employees. Though the State General Assembly sees it as a much larger issue that cannot be easily fixed by a simple ballot question, especially one which has no power. The pension fund has suffered greatly due tot he recession and has become expensive to maintain. Lawmakers have proposed the idea of a bill to reform the system already, but outsiders feel that it still would not address the many flaws of the system. Similar measures to change how municipal pensions are funded was passed, but one addressing fire and police officers was not able to get through. Though members of both are hoping for positive results on the advisory question, hoping that the State government will get the picture that residents do what a comprehensive reform of the system to be undertaken.[3]

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Local elections





Illinois counties

AdamsAlexanderBondBooneBrownBureauCalhounCarrollCassChampaignChristianClarkClayClintonColesCookCrawfordCumberlandDeKalbDeWittDouglasDuPageEdgarEdwardsEffinghamFayetteFordFranklinFultonGallatinGreeneGrundyHamiltonHancockHardinHendersonHenryIroquoisJacksonJasperJeffersonJerseyJo DaviessJohnsonKaneKankakeeKendallKnoxLaSalleLakeLawrenceLeeLivingstonLoganMaconMacoupinMadisonMarionMarshallMasonMassacMcDonoughMcHenryMcLeanMenardMercerMonroeMontgomeryMorganMoultrieOglePeoriaPerryPiattPikePopePulaskiPutnamRandolphRichlandRock IslandSalineSangamonSchuylerScottShelbySt. ClairStarkStephensonTazewellUnionVermilionWabashWarrenWashingtonWayneWhiteWhitesideWillWilliamsonWinnebagoWoodford

See also