A bill that would permit Evanston voters to decide whether to abolish Evanston Township has passed both houses of the legislature in Springfield.

The State House voted to approve the bill Thursday. It had been approved by the State Senate last month.

The bill, introduced by Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston), was carefully crafted to apply only to Evanston — limiting its application to coterminous townships in which the City Council serves as the town board and which are located in Cook County and are about Evanston’s geographic size.

If Gov. Quinn signs the bill, the City Council would be able to adopt an ordinance placing the abolition referendum question on the next election ballot.

If the township were abolished, it’s duties would be shifted to the City of Evanston.

Evanston voters approved an advisory referendum on township dissolution last year by a two-to-one margin, but efforts to get enabling legislation passed last year failed after township officials statewide organized opposition to it.

By tailoring this year’s bill to apply only to Evanston, the continuing opposition of the township officials’ group failed to gain as much traction.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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