- Associated Press - Thursday, December 17, 2015

CHICAGO (AP) - Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner’s task force on shrinking the number of Illinois government offices and eliminating some unfunded mandates unanimously approved nearly 30 recommendations Thursday.

Specific recommendations won’t be known until the group releases a report later this month. But group members who voted on the recommendations at a meeting in Chicago indicated the list will include consolidating some school districts and townships and reviewing unfunded mandates on municipalities that haven’t been looked at in nearly 30 years.

“We look forward to putting legs on this report when we deliver it to the governor and the General Assembly and put it in motion,” said Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti, the chairwoman of the task force. “In other words, this cannot be a report that collects dust.”

Illinois has more units of government than any other state with nearly 7,000. They include park districts, counties and townships. Texas has the second-highest number with 1,800 fewer units.

Rauner created the task force in February with an executive order. It will be up to state lawmakers and Rauner to decide whether to implement the group’s suggestions.

The governor has said the state’s large bureaucracy creates “unnecessary layers of government” that lead to waste, high taxes and the opportunity for corruption.

In all, the task force adopted 27 recommendations out of nearly 90 that members considered. Some task force members concerned about some recommendations weakening labor unions reiterated those fears Thursday.

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Follow Ivan Moreno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ivanjourno

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