In years past the Village of Lakewood was provided fire protection services by the Woodstock Fire Protection District.
At that time, if Lakewood residents passed a referendum, its properties could have been annexed to the Woodstock FPD.This past legislative session, a bill passed that would allow Fire Protection Districts to annex areas, such as Lakewood used to be, without referendum.
Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed the bill, sponsored by Chicago Democrats. The message of which is below:
Veto Message for HB 2778
To the Honorable Members of The Illinois House of Representatives,
100th General Assembly:
Today, I veto House Bill 2778, which amends the Fire Protection District Act to allow a fire protection district to annex into its jurisdiction any property for which that district provides coverage under the Emergency Telephone System Act.
Fire protection districts play a critical role in the State of Illinois, but we must weigh the authority of such districts against our residents’ property rights.
This bill affords fire protection districts too much discretion to not only annex properties, but also to subject annexed-property owners to fire protection district fees thereafter.
Our state’s residents already feel the overwhelming weight of one of the heaviest property tax burdens in the country.
This bill, however, would add to the property tax burden for those properties annexed by fire protection districts.
As a State, we should pass legislation to relieve such financial pressures of our residents, not to add to them.
Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(b) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return House Bill 2278, entitled “AN ACT concerning regulation,” with the foregoing objections, vetoed in its entirety.
Bruce Rauner, GOVERNOR
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Representatives Steve Andersson, David McSweeney, Allen Skillicorn and Barbara Wheeler and State Senator Dan McConchie voted against the bill. State Senators Pam Althoff and Karen McConnaughay voted for it. Roll calls and other details can be found here.