Lake County Government Reform

In response to proposed State legislation (SB0669) that would require a referendum for voters to decide whether they support a countywide elected chairman—and fundamentally change Lake County’s current structure where the Chairman is selected by county board members every two years—the Lake County Board Chairman and Lake County Board are taking steps to enact meaningful good government reforms. 

March 2017 

The Board took action to create a bipartisan commission to evaluate proposed reform measures and report on key findings that enhance accountability to the public, provide for an effective and responsive government structure, maintain strong professional and ethical standards, as well as redistricting reform to mitigate political influence. The group will consist of community members, elected officials, faith leaders, major political party representatives, and other advocates of good government. 

Resolution creating a Lake County Commission on Government Accountability and Reform

February 2017

At the February 2017 meeting, the board approved a resolution supporting government reform measures and amendments to Illinois Senate Bill 0669. In January 2016, Illinois Senator Terry Link (District 30) filed SB0669 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. (Note: SB0669 was amended to require a referendum in 2018). 

Lake County Board Chairman Aaron Lawlor proposed a package of groundbreaking reforms to county government that would require a voter referendum in 2018 asking voters if they would support the following measures: A countywide elected chairman in 2022; Implementing redistricting reform based on the “Independent Map Amendment” and streamlining county government by reducing the size of the county board. This proposal also 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.

Resolution Supporting Government Reform Measures and Amendments to Illinois Senate Bill 0669
Jan. 31 News Release: Chairman Lawlor Proposes Sweeping Reforms to County Government