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Bills would give voters say over township, road district consolidation

Two state Senate bills from Lake County legislators are among the latest suggestions in the continuing debate on consolidating government services to save money.

The main element in the proposals by Democratic state Sens. Melinda Bush of Grayslake and Julie Morrison of Deerfield to consolidate or dissolve townships and road districts would allow entities the choice to pursue that route and give voters the final say. The bills are scheduled to be considered by the senate this week.

“We’re not telling you what to do,” Bush told about 40 township supervisors, highway commissioners and others during a news conference Monday at the Lake County division of transportation building in Libertyville. “It gives you and your voters the ability to decide what makes sense for you.”

There are 1,430 townships in Illinois and thousands of other units of local government, such as drainage and mosquito abatement districts, that in recent years have become the topics of potential consolidation or elimination. Township consolidation is among dozens of suggestions to shrink government outlined by the Local Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates task force led by Republican Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti.

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