Kane County’s Monday legislative breakfast brought together a who’s who of county, state and federal elected officials. The morning was a a little bit meet-and-greet, a little bit panel discussion, with summaries of what’s top of mind here in Kane County, in Springfield and in Washington, DC.
Representatives from the offices of U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Rep. Bill Foster, U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam, state Sen. Karen McConnaughay, state Sen. Michael Nolan, state Sen. Jim Oberweis, state Rep. Mike Fortner, state Rep. Anna Moeller and state Rep. Mike Tryon sent messages, made cameos or took a turn speaking.
In the flesh were U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren, state Sen. Linda Holmes, state Rep. Steve Andersson, state Rep. Linda Chapa-Lavia, state Rep. Stephanie Kofowit, state Rep. Bob Pritchard and state Rep. Keith Wheeler.
Three state bills took center-stage focus.
HB3118/SB1336 — Judicial Facilities Fees
- Senate Sponsor: Sen. Linda Holmes
- House Sponsor: Rep. Keith Wheeler, Chief Co-Sponsor Bob Pritchard
- Summary: The bill would allow Kane County to set and apply a user fee on new lawsuits. Money derived from the user fee would be set aside in a special fund for courthouse expansion and provides the same authority as given to Will County last year.
SB59 — Juror Fees
- Senate Sponsor: Sen. John Mulroe
- Co-Sponsor: Sen. Michael Noland
- Summary: The bill repeals the unfunded mandate of increased juror fees passed last November.
HB2768/SB804 — Court Security
- Senate Sponsor: Sen. William R. Haine
- Co-Sponsor: Sen. Michael Nolan
- House Sponsor: Rep John Bradley
- Summary: Would allow Kane County to recover costs from court users, rather than from property-taxpayers.
Andersson, R-Geneva, said he would be happy to co-sponsor the Judicial Facilities Fee legislation along with Wheeler and Pritchard. He praised the Kane County Legislative Committee and its co-chairs, Brian Pollock and Susan Starrett, for their tenacity and for making those three bills a clearly-stated priority.
“Your focus, immediately, has been great,” he said.
Chapa-Lavia agreed, saying she appreciated the three-prong focus as well as the communication from Kane County and other local units of government.
“Because we’re not the people whose feet are on the ground, we don’t necessarily know when there is an unintended consequence we don’t want to see,” she said. “So keep communicating with us, because it really makes our lives so much easier.”