UPDATE: Mahomet Village Board Tables Resolution Supporting Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda”

April 28, 2015

As predicted by the village President, Mahomet village trustees tabled a resolution Tuesday night, calling for support of several items on Governor Bruce Rauner’s “Turnaround Agenda”.

Village President Sean Widener had said before the meeting that he thought the resolution might be tabled, because of the need to focus on more pressing business related to the closing of Mahomet's fiscal year on April 30th, and the upcoming budget process. He says no date has been set for bringing the matter back to the village board.

Widener says he was also not surprised by several people attending Tuesday's night's meeting who spoke against the resolution. He says they mostly represented labor unions, which strongly oppose many of Rauner's proposals concerning labor unions and employee rights.

The non-binding resolution had been previously by Mahomet trustees at an April 21st study session. Widener said there was no public opposition at that time.

If approved, Mahomet trustees would be throwing their support behind proposals that --- in the resolution’s language --- “will encourage local control, reduce costs on local governments, empower local voters and increase competitiveness in our community.

The items from the governor’s Turnaround Agenda include local right-to-work zones, changes in workers’ compensation rules, a rollback of unfunded mandates required by the state, repeal of the Illinois Prevailing Wage Law and local elimination of so-called fair-share dues for non-union workers.

Mahomet Village President Sean Widener says what’s important in the resolution is that local voters would have the final say on many of the proposals.

“These will not be my decision or the village board. These will be pushed to the voters to decide how they feel one way or the other, just like everything else that we have in our great country; that at the end of the day, it’s the voters who should decide what’s best for them, and agree or disagree on some of the issues.”

But the Mahomet resolution includes one item that’s not on Rauner’s Turnaround Agenda. It’s a proposal to amend the Illinois constitution to automatically grant home-rule powers to towns with populations as small as 5,000. Mahomet’s population is 7,258.

Home-rule power would allow the Mahomet Village Board to enact new taxes. Widener says a local motor fuel tax and a storm water retention fee are two possibilities. Widener says Mahomet voters could vote for home-rule power right now, but are unlikely to do so. Ratification of a new home rule amendment would require a statewide referendum.

The Mahomet Village Board meeting is scheduled to begin at 6 PM, on Tuesday, April 28th, at the village administration office, 503 E. Main Street in Mahomet. Widener says the meeting is the final one of the fiscal year, and the Turnaround Agenda resolution might be tabled until a later meeting, so they can focus on items that must be resolved before the end of FY 2015.

Turnaround Agenda resolutions have been endorsed by some local government boards, but others have shied away from the proposals, and some have passed resolutions that leave out some of Gov. Rauner’s  more controversial proposals.

The city council in the McLean County town of Lexington had a Turnaround Agenda proposal on their Monday, April 27th agenda. But the resolution was tabled to a later meeting, according to WJBC Radio.

(Updated on April 29th, 2015)

Story source: WILL