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State Representative Andersson (R-Geneva) has passed a legislative measure in the House of Representatives that will update the State’s system of criminal court fees.

The fee structure for criminal and civil court cases is out of control. This is not just the case for Illinois, but also other states in the Union, and to remedy this, change was requested by the Supreme Court. The Statutory Fees Task Force was created to extensively study Illinois’ statutory court fee system, and their study resulted in the recommendation for change in the form of HB4594.

“This bill reforms criminal assessments and was largely driven by the Supreme Court,” said Andersson. “It is a massive undertaking, but a necessary step to improve our criminal justice system.”

As a member of the Statutory Fees Task Force, Rep. Andersson sponsored the legislation to change the current system. HB4594 makes three important changes to the fee structure: it makes all fees consolidated to unified schedules, it realigns fees so that they comply with the Illinois Constitution, and it allows for waivers for low income individuals who are unable to pay such fines.

Andersson has worked on this legislation since he began his tenure in the House. Through his collaboration with State Representative Elaine Nektritz, as well as the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Trucking Association, social service agencies, and the Illinois State Police, the legislation has received wide support. In addition, the Illinois Supreme Court submitted a formal recommendation for the bill to be adopted today in the House.

Due to the complex nature of the legislation, and the current court fee system, a sunset clause was included that will allow the issue to be reassessed in 2020 to ensure the changes made are making the proper impact.

HB4594 passed today in the House and now moves forward for further consideration.
State Representative Steve Andersson hosted John-Austin Little as his Honorary Page for the Day in the House of Representatives.

John-Austin Little is a 5th grade student in Representative Andersson’s 65th District, and attends Williamsburg Elementary School in Geneva. Rep. Andersson initially met Mr. Little during a visit to the Elementary School earlier this year, and after hearing first hand his interest in government, the Representative invited him to Springfield to serve in the Honorary Page for the day program. As a page, Mr. Little was introduced by Rep. Andersson on the House Floor, met other lawmakers and observed the legislative process in action.

Representative Andersson was happy to have an eager student, learner, and perhaps future State Representative join him for the day in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Andersson presents HB5288
in the Human Services Committee
State Representative Steve Andersson’s legislation to create an online registry for Illinois’ recovery residences passed today in the House of Representatives.

As described in HB5288, a "recovery residence" means a sober, safe, and healthy living environment that promotes recovery from alcohol and other drug use and associated problems.

The legislation is an initiative of the Department of Human Services, and the bill provides that DHS will develop and maintain the online registry of recovery residences. The will be publicly available online through the DHS website and include detailed information about each residence. These recovery residences are not subject to Department licensure as they are viewed as independent living residences that only provide peer support and a lengthened exposure to the culture of recovery.

No such database of recovery residences currently exists, making it difficult for Illinois residents to find necessary resources to aid in their recovery. The online registry of recovery residences will serve as a referral resource for individuals seeking continued recovery assistance.

Representative Andersson commended DHS for suggesting the bill, as it will greatly help individuals and their families easily access all the information they need in one place. While presenting the bill in the House, Representative Andersson called these recovery residences “a critical and key component to an individual’s recovery from substance abuse.” Further, Andersson believes it is vital that people are aware of the resources in Illinois that are available to them in their recovery.

The bill passed unanimously out of committee and also garnered a unanimous vote in the House to move forward for further consideration in the Senate.
The Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, presented as SJRCA 4, was ratified this week by the Illinois Senate. Originally introduced in Congress in 1923, the Amendment provides that the equality of rights will not be denied by the United States or any state on account of sex.

Today, the Amendment is currently awaiting further consideration in the House of Representatives, and State Representative Steve Andersson (R-Geneva) became the first chief-co sponsor of the initiative in the House.

Andersson has supported the Amendment in the past, and was eager to sponsor its current movement in the House. “This is a long time coming, and I am excited to help garner the necessary support for this to become a reality in our state,” said Andersson.

The Amendment has been presented in the House in years prior, where both the House and Senate have each voted in favor of it, but the Amendment has yet to clear both chambers in the same year.

For passage as a constitutional amendment, 71 votes are required instead of the usual 60 votes needed for legislation. If it does get the necessary votes, Illinois would become the 37th state to ratify the Amendment.