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Gov. Quinn signs DuPage County reform bill

WHEATON – Gov. Pat Quinn signed what he called a "landmark bill" Aug. 2 that significantly increases the DuPage County Board's power to cut certain public programs.

Senate Bill 494, sponsored by State Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) and State Rep. Deb Conroy (D-Elmhurst) gives DuPage County the authority to dissolve outdated or defunct county appointed agencies via ordinance.

County Board Chairman Dan Cronin said that this bill presented "an opportunity to carefully examine these units of local government and come up with a plan for consolidation."

Quinn said that the bill meant more oversight in a time when many taxpayers live paycheck to paycheck.

"We need to have effective government, a government that gets the job done for everyday people. We don't need to have excessive bureaucracy," said the governor.

The bill could impact county appointed governmental agencies that provide public services, including up to 13 fire protection, sanitary, mosquito abatement and street lighting districts. A recent board assessment indicated that nearly $300 million of county money is used to fund appointed agencies, according to a news release from the DuPage County Board.

All of the potentially dissolved agencies would first be subject to a six month public review process and audit and could be saved by a backdoor referendum, the release said.

"I believe this has changed the conversation in Springfield," said Conroy.

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