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Thread: Main difference(s) between home rule and non-home rule

  1. #1
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Main difference(s) between home rule and non-home rule

    I don't know if this is something applicable across the US or just peculiar to Illinois, but I have a question regarding Home Rule status versus non-Home Rule for incorporated municipalities.

    Here in Illinois, home rule status allows the municipality the ability to enact it's own laws and regulations for everything from land use to police to health codes, but I am still unclear regarding the extent of ability given to non-home rule municipality and what they can or cannot do, and whether non-home rule still needs to defer to other governmental bodies (such as township, county, etc.)

    Can anybody shed some light on the issue for me?
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

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    Cyburbian Plus
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    Interesting read from National Association of Counties (NACO)
    http://www.celdf.org/portals/0/pdf/H...le%20State.pdf
    Source data is dated 2004, now is that too dated ?
    Good state by state listing.

    Have you read ?
    HOME RULE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN ILLINOIS A CITIZEN'S GUIDE (7/96)
    http://www.citizenadvocacycenter.org/homerule.htm
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    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    Can anybody shed some light on the issue for me?
    Hopefully some of these will:

    http://www.citizenadvocacycenter.org/homerule.htm

    I came across another item which was too large in size (MB). Maybe something that can go through PM?
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    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    NH is not a home-rule state. We are only permitted to do what is authorized by state stutes.

    Summarized by wikipedia:

    New Hampshire is a "Dillon Rule" state, meaning that powers not specifically granted to municipalities are retained by the state government. Even so, there is within the state's legislature a strong sentiment favoring local control, particularly with regard to land use regulations. Traditionally, local government in New Hampshire is conducted by town meetings, but in 1995, municipalities were given the option of using an official ballot to decide local electoral and budgetary questions, as opposed to the more open and public town meeting.
    Reference on Dillon Rule: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Forrest_Dillon
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    Homerule County

    Quote Originally posted by mendelman View post
    I don't know if this is something applicable across the US or just peculiar to Illinois, but I have a question regarding Home Rule status versus non-Home Rule for incorporated municipalities.

    Here in Illinois, home rule status allows the municipality the ability to enact it's own laws and regulations for everything from land use to police to health codes, but I am still unclear regarding the extent of ability given to non-home rule municipality and what they can or cannot do, and whether non-home rule still needs to defer to other governmental bodies (such as township, county, etc.)

    Can anybody shed some light on the issue for me?

    My understanding is that Home Rule is sought by Counties rather than Municipalitiles, i.e. incorporated cities which already have home rule. The County Commissioners seek home rule in collusion with the do minant city as a way for them to take over the whole county via a metropolitan (or megalopolitan) form of government. This is simply to enhance and legitimize the feudal system that already exists via a long tradition of ignoring the fact that We the People delegated the power to tax and to regulate commerce to Congress. Congress in collusion with local politicians has allowed them to usurp those powers. One essential tool for maintaining the do minance of a city is The Business License Fee (the word "fee" is from the feudal system, which a serf (peasant) could pay his overlord in order to become a vassal). It is a bribe in fact; if you pay the fee the overlords (mayor and council) look the other way while you go on about your business. The only legitimate source of revenue for State and Local governments as recommended by the Framers of the U.S. Constitution was to be derived from economic rent (also known as “site value taxation”) via the Power of Eminent Domain. The Police Power among several other significant powers was also reserved to State and Local government or to We the People. The tendency of all governments historically has been to enslave the people (wage slavery already exist). Our Constitution was wisely designed to prevent that. So, Home Rule is something to beware of and avoid like the plague. Municipalities would be empowered by developing and adopting a schematic master plan for orderly and systematic development but no one has ever before been able to conceive such a plan. As the experts in the field, say "no one can design a city" - I took issue with that as you may know and am offering my solution for your consideration or critique if you will.

    A Federal system of government is diametrically opposed to Feudalism. States should have and could now promote the Federal system; Counties should be to the State as the State is to the Central Federal government -likewise Cities would be the several sovereign units of the County and the People are sovereign individuals at all levels of government. Thus the Citizen is King.
    Last edited by bud; 20 Oct 2006 at 11:39 AM. Reason: elucidate

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    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by bud View post
    My understanding is that Home Rule is sought by Counties rather than Municipalitiles, i.e. incorporated cities which already have home rule.
    This varies based on what State of the Union you are in. Local governments are either Home Rule or Dillon's Rule.

    Dillon's Rule - Local governments are limited to functions enabled by legislation.
    National League of Cities Linkie

    Home Rule - Local governments may enact local legislation unless / over-ruled prohibited by State or Federal legislation.

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    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Home Rule

    In Massachusetts every municipality (and even one "county", Barnstable, on the Cape) have home rule. Everyone insists that Home Rule this strong is unique to Mass., which it isn't, but it also seems that the Home Rule in this state is highly limited by lots and lots of state laws that supercede Home Rule. For example, municipalities are limited to taxing only property and hotel rooms but are also limited in how much they can tax property.

    Its interesting, though, that its conventional wisdom here that regionalism is hampered by Home Rule. I am not sure I agree. Any thoughts?

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Home rule is the same in Maine as Massachusetts, which makes sense becasue Maine used to be part of Massachusetts -

    For the most part, I have gotten used to it - but yes, it does inhibit regionalism - I can't even get an island wde master plan going here and there's only 3 towns!

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    Dillon' Rule

    Quote Originally posted by Chet View post
    This varies based on what State of the Union you are in. Local governments are either Home Rule or Dillon's Rule.

    Dillon's Rule - Local governments are limited to functions enabled by legislation.
    National League of Cities Linkie

    Home Rule - Local governments may enact local legislation unless / over-ruled prohibited by State or Federal legislation.
    Strictly construed you are correct and I should say so but I was thinking as compared to the County and went on to make my point concerning a Federal system at the Local level comparable to the Central Federal government at the National level; otherwise as things are Local Feudalism prevails and remains in constant conflict with National Federalism.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Which came first?

    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    Home rule is the same in Maine as Massachusetts, which makes sense becasue Maine used to be part of Massachusetts -

    For the most part, I have gotten used to it - but yes, it does inhibit regionalism - I can't even get an island wde master plan going here and there's only 3 towns!
    But is that because of Home Rule per se or the same town-level independence that led to Home Rule? The state could impose regionalism from above if it gave regional goverment more power but it chooses not to.

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    Cyburbian The One's avatar
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    Ahh.....

    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    In Massachusetts every municipality (and even one "county", Barnstable, on the Cape) have home rule. Everyone insists that Home Rule this strong is unique to Mass., which it isn't, but it also seems that the Home Rule in this state is highly limited by lots and lots of state laws that supercede Home Rule. For example, municipalities are limited to taxing only property and hotel rooms but are also limited in how much they can tax property.

    Its interesting, though, that its conventional wisdom here that regionalism is hampered by Home Rule. I am not sure I agree. Any thoughts?
    I think home rule has to be part of the problem when considering regionalism.
    It seems to me that granting more authority to individual communties can only promote fiefdoms and be a disensentive for regionalism

    Isn't the real problem that there are more smaller communities, each with largely arbitrary boundaries fighting each other for a perceived "equal" piece of the tax pie. It certainly can't help the poorer communities when the richer areas simply refuse to accept that it might just be their turn (after 50 years) to share some of the workforce/attainable housing needs for the region. Its this kind of animosity that can politically kill regionalism. Commuities with a "healthy" mix of incomes and commercial base should be the goal. The answer (as with most problems) lies somewhere in the middle.....

    How is regionalism going in Canada? Hasn't it been under attack in recent years.....? or is it getting stonger??
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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Hmm. The NACO piece was helpful, but I was surprised to see New York listed as both a Home Rule and a Dillon's Rule state, especially since NY is lot like Massachusetts in the way its strong home rule system is perceived.

    According to NACO, "A state can be considered a Dillon's Rule state and also have home rule. These hybrid states, such as Virginia, have eased their constructionist view on local government, giving local government more autonomy with which to govern." Huh?

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    Regionalism

    Quote Originally posted by Masswich View post
    Its interesting, though, that its conventional wisdom here that regionalism is hampered by Home Rule. I am not sure I agree. Any thoughts?
    Is this what you mean by Regionalism?

    http://books.google.com/books?id=qcw...qwOiskIB_7ldI4

    I see that Regional Planning is good as a way to coordinate planning between neighboring States, Counties and Municipalities and while the Regional Planning Commission's Planning staff of professional planners would and have in fact accepted my idea the politicians are still intent on consolidating and extending there own political power and authority via continuous growth of the do minate city. That is why County Commissioners seek Home Rule.

    Why do you advocate Regionalism?
    Last edited by bud; 24 Oct 2006 at 2:21 PM. Reason: added url

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