Althoff’s rescue squad referendum question passes Senate
Sen. Pamela Althoff’s (R-McHenry) proposed referendum question regarding rescue squads in her district could go on the ballot.
After being approved by her peers at Wednesday's Senate floor debate, SB2297 could be before voters in the Nov. 6 general election.
“This legislation was an initiative from my district for stand one rescue squads that are not affiliated with the fire departments,” Althoff said. “It amends their act that allows them to levy a special tax for providing ambulance service at a maximum rate of .04 percent of EAV if approved by referendum.”
According to the senator, fire-protection districts were given the same authority five years ago, and many of the rescue squads in her district want the same recompense for the service they provide.
Before approving the bill, Sen. Tom Cullerton (D-Villa Park) wanted to more information.
“So, senator, are these rescue squad districts creations of new units of government with Illinois?” Cullerton asked.
“Actually, no. These units of government, most of them, have been in existence for over 30 years,” Althoff said. “They just have not consolidated with some of the fire districts and that option is available; however, at this particular time the cost of consolidation is being evaluated.”
“So they already collect a tax levy, am I hearing that correctly?” Cullerton asked.
“Yes, sir,” Althoff answered.
The bill question will be placed on the general election ballot. If a majority of the votes for the referendum questions are in favor of the question, the board of trustees will authorize the levy at a special tax at a rate that cannot rise beyond 0.4 percent.
Sen. Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) also wanted more information.
“Sen. Althoff, who are the four districts? Do you know?” Rose asked.
“I apologize, senator, I do not have the four, as it is not a published list, but I do know that two of them are located within my district,” Althoff said, adding she is was not aware of any opposition to the bill.
SB2297 passed 42-1 and moved out of the Senate.