Bill to Eliminate DuPage Forest District Commissioners' Salaries Passes House Committee
Salaries and benefits of up to $80,000 per commissioner may be nearing an end.
Legislation sponsored by state Rep. Deb Conroy (D-46th, Elmhurst) to eliminate the salaries and benefits of DuPage Forest District commissioners and chairman won the approval of a key House committee last week.
The House Counties and Townships Committee approved House Bill 2377 with a 3-2 vote. The bill will head to the full House for consideration.
The proposal eliminates the salaries and pension, dental and medical benefits given to the Forest Preserve’s chairman and six commissioners. In DuPage County, commissioners meet once a week and receive a base salary of $53,500. With benefits, each commissioner costs the taxpayers up to $80,709.50. Forest district commissioners in neighboring counties may be reimbursed for necessary expenses and receive a nominal salary of $0 to $3,000 per year, according to a press release from Conroy's office.
“As we continue to weed out government waste and further our commitments to spending taxpayer dollars more responsibly, it is encouraging that this committee recognizes the vast taxpayer waste in these overly generous compensation packages,” Conroy said in a prepared statement. “My intent is not to lessen DuPage County’s capacity to preserve our natural habitats and expand open lands opportunities, but to make sure that we’re investing our limited resources into those efforts rather than to pay for bloated salaries.”
State Rep. Dennis Reboletti (R-45th, Elmhurst) also sponsored HB 2481, which would dissolve the DuPage County Forest Preserve District Board and transfer the responsibilities of the Forest District to the DuPage County Board in 2016.