More cities qualify if Home Rule changes

Illinois Capitol News
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ILLINOIS (WCIA) — A choice to keep the state out of your mayor’s pocket could be on the ballot in November.

Leaders of the state’s Municipal League want to give more cities financial freedom known as Home Rule. The distinction allows city leaders to be more in charge of their budgets.

Mayors who support the change say an increase in unfunded state mandates has made it difficult for local communities to pay for things like public safety and city pensions. They believe this could fix those problems.

Some oppose the idea fearing it could allow local governments to increase taxes. Supporters of the bill say that’s not the intent.

Right now, cities with populations of 25,000 or more qualify for Home Rule. If the law were to change, the threshold drops to 5,000.

Already, three-fourths of the state have Home Rule. More than 100 cities would qualify under the change.

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