Doing Government Better
Here are some of the accomplishments DuPage County has been able to achieve as part of my commitment to reducing the size, scope and cost of local government:
Cutting the Budget: Since becoming Chairman, DuPage County has cut its budget by 9% and is operating with fewer employees than before. Cutting $43.9 million from the budget without reducing services wasn’t easy, but it was the responsible thing to do for taxpayers.
Tax Repealed: Before becoming Chairman, I sponsored legislation to reform the DuPage County Water Commission after learning that it had misspent $70 million. Through the reforms instituted at the Commission, outstanding debt was paid off early saving taxpayers $10 million and water rates were lowered. The Commission’s sales tax was repealed June 1, 2016, which saves consumers at least $36 million every year.
No Property Tax Increase: Skyrocketing property taxes are a burden on families and businesses across Illinois. While the average government in DuPage County has increased their share of the property tax by 3% every year, the County has held its levy flat. The property tax freeze in DuPage County has cumulatively saved taxpayers $1.5 billion in property taxes.
Economic Growth: By promoting a pro-business climate, maintaining a high quality of life and holding the line on taxes, DuPage County is one of the best places in the nation to start and grow a business. Recently, more than 100 businesses have invested more than $570 million in DuPage County, creating 37,000 jobs in local communities.
Reforming DuPage Government: In government, the status quo can be a powerful force. Too often, “doing things same old way” costs taxpayers a lot of money. That’s why DuPage County began the ACT Initiative to bring Accountability, Consolidation and Transparency to the numerous layers of county government. To date, the reforms implemented are projected to save taxpayers $116 million. Read the latest ACT Progress Report by clicking here.
Modernizing Employee Benefits: The County reformed its employee benefits system to model best practices in the private sector and to end policies that were outdated. The changes made to how county employees were awarded and paid out for sick-days and vacation-days is estimated to save taxpayers $20 million over the next 20 years. This change is one of the largest savings implemented as part of the ACT Initiative.
Improving Safety, Saving Lives: DuPage County is not immune to the opioid crisis and the County has responded in several ways. DuPage’s RxBox has opened more secured drop-off boxes and these locations have collected over 70,000 pounds of medication since 2009. The County’s Health Department’s Heroin Coalition, has spread community awareness and education with programs at 15 different middle and high schools. More than 1,700 officers have been equipped with Narcan, which reverses the effect of heroin and other opiates. This has saved over 200 lives in the community.
Transforming Illinois: With DuPage County’s ACT Initiative serving as a blueprint, and in partnership with the Metropolitan Planning Commission, Transform Illinois, is a new reform initiative to help other local governments improve their effectiveness and deliver services more efficiently.