From Illinois Business Journal news services
SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea, allowing for the dissolution of Belleville Township was signed into law Thursday.
The dissolution of the township will help reduce the size and cost of local government in Belleville, he said.
“This new law is a common-sense reform that will help reduce costs by making local government more efficient,” Hoffman said. “Taxpayers should not be forced to pay for duplicative services and unnecessary government. I appreciate the governor joining Sen. (James) Clayborne (D-Belleville) and I in supporting this measure.”
Under current law, an individual township can only be dissolved if voters elect to eliminate all levels of township government in their county. Hoffman’s bill, House Bill 3693, allows the members of the Belleville Township Board and the Belleville City Council to approve a dissolution ordinance without a countywide vote.
Currently, Belleville Township’s lone task is providing temporary general welfare assistance to families who are waiting to receive state aid. The township uses an operating cost of $288,000 and only provides $177,000 in assistance to local families. Under Hoffman’s measure, Belleville Township could be consolidated into the City of Belleville.
House Bill 3693 received bipartisan support in the House and Senate. Rep. Dwight Kay, R-Glen Carbon, was a chief cosponsor of the measure.
“Illinois has more units of local government than any other state, so it’s no surprise we also have some of the highest property taxes in the country,” Hoffman said. “This bill shows a bipartisan commitment to ensuring government services are delivered efficiently and effectively.”