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. 

Commission on Government Reform and Accountability

In March 2017, the County Board created 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 consists 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 Reform and Accountability 
Commission Membership
• Resolution providing for the appointment of members to the Lake County Commission on Government Reform and Accountability
View the meeting calendar and agendas

Senate Bill 0669

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