After 43-3-3 approval of a Jack Franks-initiated bill in the Illinois Senate, in lickty-split action this week in Springfield, Democrats in the Illinois House pushed House Bill 171, originally introduced az a shell bill by House Speaker Mike Madigan, through on a 63-48-1 in spite of vigorous Republican opposition led by State Rep. Barb Wheeler.
The contents of the bill are brief, but the shift in power from the membership of the McHenry County Board to Chairman Jack Franks is immense.
It basically turns him into the Mike Madigan of the McHenry County by giving the County Board Chairman the power to appoint all committee chairmen and determine who will serve on which committees.
The language of the bill follows:
(55 ILCS 5/2-1003.5 new)
Sec. 2-1003.5. Creation of standing committees by chairman; appointment of members. With the advice and consent of a majority of the county board, a county board chairman elected by the voters of the county shall:
(1) create standing committees; and
(2) appoint members and chairpersons to standing committees.
This Section applies to counties having a population between 300,000 and 900,000.
Now County Board Rules provide for a Committee on Committees to make such decisions.
The Republican County Board members I talked to are incensed…and perhaps that is too weak a word.
A veto from Governor Bruce Rauner is all that stands in the way of Franks vastly increasing his power.
Rauner previously signed a bill supported by many McHenry County legislators which gave the Chairman the power to break tie votes.
Here is the Senate roll call on Tuesday:
Below is the House roll call:
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A phone number to call, even when offices are closed, is 217-782-3560. Be polite, of course.
The phone number has been disconnected and emails are said to be bouncing back.
Try this to get through: https://www.illinois.gov/gov/contactus/Pages/VoiceAnOpinion.aspx