A bill designed to eliminate unnecessary units of government, which is sponsored by Rep. Jack Franks (D-Marengo), and supported by the Better Government Assn., has passed in the General Assembly and now goes to Gov. Pat Quinn to be signed into law.

HB 5785 gives various government entities the authority to annex, consolidate or dissolve provided a majority of its board members vote to take such action. Currently, the units of government subject to this legal act have no authority to merge, dissolve or discontinue operations.

READ: Franks Measure To Bolster Local Government Consolidation Passes Both Houses

The bill provides an opportunity to eliminate some unneeded taxpayer-supported entities in Illinois, which leads the country with about 7,000 units of government; nearly 2,000 more than any other state, said Rep. Franks.

The bill is just one step in the BGA’s effort to promote statewide “smart streamlining”, an effort to reduce the size of government while making it more responsive and efficient to the public, according to Andy Shaw, CEO and president of the BGA.

In addition to the BGA, the Civic Federation, a nonpartisan government research organization, backed the consolidation measure, which on May 29 cleared a final concurrence vote in the General Assembly by an overwhelming majority.

HB 5785 is just one in a series of streamlining bills being proposed by Rep. Franks, who is calling on state government to improve operations while providing greater value and tax relief to taxpayers.