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Villa Park lawmakers propose bills to reduce county spending

VILLA PARK — Two state lawmakers recently have introduced legislation that would reduce spending at the DuPage County level.

State Rep. Deb Conroy, D-Villa Park, is working to gain community support for a bill she introduced earlier this year by collecting signatures from district residents who support the measure.

Conroy's proposed legislation failed in the House of Representatives by a small margin of votes in mid-April, but she was gathering more support from residents this week. She plans to take the signed petitions to Springfield to demonstrate the local desire for her initiative, she said.

House Bill 2377 would have put a referendum on the next general election ballot, giving voters the opportunity to eliminate the salaries and benefits of DuPage County Forest Preserve commissioners and the board's chairman.

Currently, the commissioners and chairman receive a total yearly compensation of $149,577.20.

Meanwhile, a bill proposed by state Sen. Tom Cullerton, D-Villa Park, would give the DuPage County Board the ability to consolidate some of its smaller levels of local government.

Senate Bill 494, which now moves on to the House after recently passing the senate, would give the DuPage County Board the authority to eliminate several positions that are currently filled by appointed officials. It also would give voters the ability to petition against the board if they disagree with certain appointed boards and authorities.

The current law restricts the county board from reducing and consolidating its appointed positions, but the new bill would allow the board and its chairman to remove many small or redundant positions.

SB494 has been assigned to the Counties & Townships Committee in the House. Its local sponsor there is state Rep. Ron Sandack, R-Downers Grove.

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