Criminal Court Fee Reform Approved in House

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.

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