IFB continues momentum with state legislative priorities

Bills related to covered farm vehicles, overweight truck fines advance.

Ifb _continues _momentum _state _legislative _priorities _1_636610442422537553

The state Senate unanimously passed a bill that would limit surcharges paid on overweight truck fines.

(Illinois Farm Bureau file photo)

By Kay Shipman

Two Illinois Farm Bureau state transportation priorities moved forward in the legislative process.

Companion bills, SB 3241 and HB 5598, passed unanimously in their respective chambers. Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, sponsors SB 3241 and Rep. Marcus Evans, D-Chicago, sponsors HB 5598.

The bills would extend the covered farm vehicle (CFV) designation to vehicles in the second division of 8,000 or fewer pounds that have specialty plates by correcting a technical oversight that occurred when legislation passed a couple of years ago.

Vehicle owners wanting the CFV designation must pay an additional $10, which equals the additional cost needed to designate a B- or D-plated vehicle as a CFV.

With a 57-0 vote, the Senate passed SB 3266 that would set a fair, reasonable limit for surcharges paid on overweight truck fines and would rectify a disproportionate burden on overweight fines compared to other traffic fines.

Sen. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, sponsors the bill in the Senate with Rep. Natalie Phelps Finnie, D-Elizabethtown, serving as the House sponsor. For the past two years, IFB has worked to limit surcharge increases put in place by legislation.

As proposed, surcharges would be limited to $15 for each $40 increment for the first $330 of a fine. For fines greater than $330, the surcharge would be lowered to $10 for each additional $40 increment.

The current surcharge levied is $15 for each $40 increment.

Related: Deadline approaches for bill aiming to protect landowners with commercial solar developments. Read more here.

The session clock ended proposals to change the way Illinois legislative districts are drawn for this year. SJRCA 26, sponsored by Sen. Julie Morrison, D-Deerfield, and HJRCA 43, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, would have allowed the voters in the fall election to decide if an independent commission would draw the state legislative and congressional districts after the next decennial census. The Illinois Constitution requires these proposals would have to be approved through the legislative process by May 6. 

“Unfortunately, the deadline for getting the redistricting changes on the ballot has passed for the November elections,” said Kevin Semlow, IFB director of state legislation. “We will continue to work with our coalition partners to assess how we can successfully get this before the Illinois voters. We have long supported changing the state’s redistricting process to put in place an independent process and will continue to advocate for those changes.” 

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