Next Rockford explores bringing back home rule to Rockford
An advocacy group in Rockford makes the push to bring back home rule to the city.
Rockford is not a home rule city, meaning local leaders do not have the authority to tax, regulate public health and welfare protections without state approval.
Rockford lost home rule back in the 1980s during the economic downturn.
The organization Next Rockford says it may be time to bring it back, so that Rockford can gain better local control.
"Certainly there are some risks," said Chris Weber, a facilitator with Next Rockford. "I like being in control of who I'm voting for and the decisions they are making, if they aren't making appropriate decisions then we'll do our best to find somebody better."
Rockford is the only major city in Illinois without home rule power.
While there is nothing on the ballot now to restore that authority, advocates say there could be soon.