On July 19, 2019, the Governor signed into law Public Act 101-0099 (HB 2993) making it more difficult for Illinois Library Districts to annex property that is unserved by tax-supported public library service.
Prior to the bill’s passage, a Library District could annex property simply by adopting an ordinance, providing an opportunity for the public to provide comment, and posting adequate notice. The property had to be (i) located within a municipality or school district that was entirely or partially within the district, (ii) contiguous with the district, and (iii) unserved by any local, tax-supported public library service. (75 ILCS 16/15-15) Unless 10% of the registered voters in the District, or the property to be annexed, filed a petition requiring a referendum (a “backdoor referendum”), the annexation would automatically become valid in 30 days. Otherwise, a majority of the voters in the District and the property to be annexed had to approve the annexation for it to become effective.
P.A. 101-0999 amended the Library District Act to make voter approval mandatory. Now, following adoption of an ordinance annexing property that meets the qualifications set forth above, the District board of trustees must submit the question of annexation to the voters of the District and the property to be annexed. A majority of the voters in the District and the property to be annexed must then approve the annexation for it to become effective.
The bill contains an apparent inconsistency in that it states the question must be submitted to the voters in the District or the property to be annexed but then states that a majority of voters in both the District and the property to be annexed must approve of the annexation. However, the use of the word “or” appears to be a drafting error left over from the prior law.
Post Authored by David Warner, Ancel Glink