August 27, 2018

To the Honorable Members of

The Illinois Senate

100th General Assembly:

Today, I return Senate Bill 2544 with specific recommendations for change.

This legislation would allow for a referendum to make the the Chief Assessor of Lake County, a position currently appointed by the Chairman of the county board, an elected position in the future. While this legislation promotes the accountability of property tax officials to the taxpayers they serve, it furthers a concerning practice of local carve-outs in state law. What is beneficial to Lake County taxpayers and voters may also be beneficial to citizens across the state, who should get the same opportunity to determine whether an elected county assessor would better serve their communities.

Therefore, pursuant to Section 9(e) of Article IV of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I hereby return Senate Bill 2544, entitled “AN ACT concerning local government,” with the following specific recommendations for change:

On page 4, by replacing line 15 with: “Sec. 3-47. Appointed Chief county assessment officer referendum; election.”; and

On page 4, line 17 through 20 with: “the election authority for a county with an appointed Chief county assessment officer shall cause to be submitted to the voters of such county at the general election held on November 6, 2018 a referendum to convert the office of the Chief county assessment officer to an elected”; and

By replacing line 24 on page 4 through line 2 on page 5 with: “"Shall the office of the Chief county assessment officer in (county) be an elected office beginning with the 2020 general election?"”; and

On page 5, by replacing lines 8 through 10 with: “office of the Chief county assessment officer in the county where the referendum was approved shall become an elected office. The Chief county assessment officer in such county shall then be elected at the first general election”; and

On page 5 by replacing lines 12 through 15 with: “Chief county assessment officer under this Section, the office of the then-serving Chief county assessment officer shall become vacant, and the newly elected Chief county assessment officer shall assume that office.”; and

On page 5, by replacing lines 16 and 17 with: “(c) Should the office of a Chief county assessment officer become an elected office as provided under”.

With these changes, Senate Bill 2544 will have my approval. I respectfully request your concurrence.


Bruce Rauner