I’ve been thinking about the bill that McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks prevailed upon the Democrats in the legislature (and too many Republicans in the Senate) to give him total power over committee appointments.
In the Illinois House, Mike Madigan, as Speaker elected by Democrats, has the power to slot whomever he wishes in committee chairmanships and to assign members to whatever committees he wants.
Republican House members are assigned by the House Republican Leader, Jim Durkin.
House Bill 171 would give Democrat Jack Franks the power to pick which Republicans he wanted to chair which committees and to assign Republicans to whatever committee he wishes.
Republican Vice Chairman Jeff Thorsen would have no role in the assignment process.
The County Board’s Committee on Committees would have no say.
That strikes me as unfair in the extreme.
That would mean that committees could be stacked with compliant Republicans and the one Democrat, who would get the Public Health Chairmanship that Franks nominated her for, but which was overridden by the County Board GOP majority.
In a rare display of independence, Franks’s choice, Democrat Paula Yensen was turned down in favor of McHenry’s Chuck Wheeler.
If you would like to encourage Governor Bruce Rauner to veto HB 171, here is a email address
Here is the bills language: :
(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.
McHenry County had 307,000 people as of 2015, the Census Bureau says.