Evanston news delivered free to your inbox! 

A bill that would allow voters in a township to place on a ballot a referendum question about dissolving township government has passed both houses of the Illinois General Assembly. A minimum of 10 percent of the registered voters in the township is required on the petition to place the question on the ballot.

A synopsis of the bill says its provides that “upon petition of at least 10 percent of the registered voters of a township, the county board shall certify and cause to be submitted to the voters of the county, at the next election, a proposition to discontinue and abolish that township’s township organization and to transfer all the rights, powers, duties, assets, property, liabilities, obligations, and responsibilities of the township organization to the county.”

If a majority of voters approves the proposition to “discontinue and abolish the township organization,” then the township’s rights, powers, duties, assets, liabilities and responsibilities, etc. would be transferred to a “coterminous municipality” and assumed by the “City Council.”

The application of the law is limited to a township that “is within a coterminous, or substantially coterminous, municipality in which the city council exercises the powers and duties of the township board, or in which one or more municipal officials serve as an officer or trustee of the township; is located within a county with a population of 3 million or more; and contains a territory of 7 square miles or more.”

The bill, passed on May 9 by the House and on May 16 by the Senate, appears to apply to Evanston, because the Township of Evanston is substantially coterminous with the City of Evanston; members of the City and Council serve as Township trustees; Evanston is located in Cook County, whose population is greater than 3 million; and the area of Evanston is about eight square miles.