News Release: Chairman Lawlor Proposes Sweeping Reforms to County Government

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Lake County Banner / Standard

Chairman Lawlor Proposes Sweeping 
Reforms to County Government

 Calls on Senator Terry Link to Amend Senate Bill 0669

January 31, 2017

Waukegan – Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor is proposing a package of groundbreaking reforms to county government that would give voters the opportunity to decide on the leadership structure and management of their county government.

Illinois Senator Terry Link (Dist. 30) filed legislation last week that requires the county board chairman be elected countywide, starting in 2020. Currently, the Lake County Board Chairman is selected by county board members every two years. Lawlor is urging Senator Link to join him in proposing amendments to Senate Bill 0669 that would allow voters to decide.

“Voters should be able to say what they want, rather than Springfield dictating what they need,” Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor said.  “SB0669 is an important step forward, but doesn’t go far enough in enacting meaningful good government reforms and safeguards that protect professionalism over political patronage.”

Lawlor will urge Senator Link to amend SB0669 calling for a voter referendum in 2018 asking voters if they would support these measures:

  • A countywide elected chairman;
  • Streamlining county government by reducing the size of the county board by at least four;
  • Implementing redistricting reform based on the “Independent Map Amendment;”

Lawlor also explained his proposal has the opportunity to create an annual savings of at least $250,000 annually by implementing a countywide elected chairmanship along with reducing the size of the county board.

If voters approve the measures in 2018, redistricting reform would begin with the release of the 2020 census data. New county board boundaries would be set for the 2022 election when voters would decide the new county board chairman and elect all members of the county board.

Lawlor said, “For years, politicians have gerrymandered district lines for political gain, and Springfield powerbrokers have blocked voters from weighing in on the Independent Map Amendment. Speaker Madigan can keep redistricting reform off ballots statewide, but not in Lake County.  We are ready to serve as a model for the reforms that can help fix our broken State.”  

Lawlor will appear before the County Board’s Finance Committee at 1 p.m. on Wednesday to file a request for board support. The full board could vote on the measure at the Feb. 14 meeting.



Jennie Vana
Lake County Communications Manager
Phone Number: 847-377-2154