Jack Franks

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is defending his handling of harassment and assault complaints against former state Rep. Jack Franks.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The Winnebago County Board Chairman is trying to decide if merging the County Clerk and Recorder offices is a good idea.  Many counties in Illinois already combine the two. Others are moving in that direction.  So what’s going on?

The office of County Clerk administers elections and vital records like birth certificates, marriage and business licenses.  The County Recorder of Deeds administers a library of land records and real-estate transactions, including information needed for deed and title searches such as tax liens and mortgages.

housedem.state.il.us

Longtime state Rep. Jack Franks is moving from Democratic maverick in the Illinois House to leading the heavily Republican McHenry County Board.

The Northwest Herald reports that Monday was Franks' first official day on the job as board chairman.

In a speech prior to his first board meeting, the Marengo Democrat said he wants to work with other board members to reduce taxes, improve roads and provide higher-quality services to residents.

Illinois House Democrats

An outspoken Democratic state representative says he's running for McHenry County board chairman instead of seeking re-election. 

  State Rep. Jack Franks first took office in 1999 and has often clashed with his own party. McHenry County Democratic Party officials chose him Sunday to fill the ballot vacancy for board chairman. He'll have to collect 270 signatures to get his name on the November ballot. 

In a statement, Franks says he won't seek re-election for the General Assembly. Party leaders have until late August to find a replacement. 

Governor Pat Quinn recently signed a bill that enables certain local taxing bodies to merge or dissolve.

A northern Illinois lawmaker will lead a series of public hearings that could change how the state works with businesses on tax breaks.