SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois State Senate recently approved legislation giving voters living in fire protection districts the opportunity to consolidate with adjoining districts.
State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) and Rep. Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) sponsored the legislation – House Bill 5856 – to let local voters dissolve their fire protection districts and join neighboring districts.
"Consolidation affords the opportunity to streamline operations, improve efficiency and reduce response times. At the same time, this gives voters the freedom to decide how best to protect their homes and neighborhoods," Sullivan said.
"This legislation guarantees all citizens that there will be no lapse in fire protection since an adjoining fire district must agree to accept the fire district that is proposing to be consolidated," Moffitt said.
Under this legislation, it would take a majority of votes cast in an election to dissolve the existing district. The adjoining district's board of trustees would also need to accept the new territory before the consolidation could take effect.
House Bill 5856 is an initiative of the Illinois Association of Fire Protection Districts.
The Senate approved HB 5856 with bipartisan support in both chambers. It now moves to the governor's desk.