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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Local Government Consolidation Plan Reaches Final Stages

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Brian Mackey/WUIS
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The finishing touches are going on a plan to streamline local government costs.

One of Gov. Bruce Rauner's controversial ideas is to give local governments the option to discontinue collective bargaining. That's something state law requires now.

The task force chaired by Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti has embraced the idea.

By the end of this year, Sanguinetti says the group will have a report published, with that and other recommendations for finding mandates that can be done away with, room for government consolidation, and cutting costs.

Next is trying to turn that report into reality.

"For my office next year and beyond, it will be about creating legislation with legislators based on our proposals and working to pass our proposals into law," Sanguinetti said.

But Democrats who control the General Assembly say they won't allow unions to be stripped of their power. And critics of the task force say that's a lot of what its plans would do.

Consolidation of school districts also has proven difficult. Defenders of mandates say lawmakers put them in place for a reason.

A final meeting of the task force is scheduled Thursday in Chicago.

Amanda Vinicky moved to Chicago Tonight on WTTW-TV PBS in 2017.