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Criminal Court Fee Reform Signed into Law

HB4594 was signed into law by Governor Rauner, which updates the State’s system of criminal court fees to make the fee structure for criminal and civil court cases more manageable.

Representative Andersson (R-Geneva) sponsored the bill to make the necessary changes to improve our criminal justice 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.

“It is a complete rewrite of how fees are assessed in all state courts in Illinois,” said Andersson. “In recent years we have built the court system on the backs of litigants in court. It was so out of control that the fees were often far more than the actual fines. This is about true justice and we just made a huge difference in that.”

Andersson has worked on this legislation since he began his tenure in the House. Through his collaboration with retired State Representative Elaine Nektritz, as well as the Illinois Farm Bureau, the Illinois Trucking Association, social service agencies, the Illinois Supreme Court and the Illinois State Police, the legislation has received wide support.

Due to the complex nature of the legislation, 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.

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