Illinois lawmakers ready to repeal $100 trailer fee hike, but Pritzker won’t let go of cash

Illinois lawmakers ready to repeal $100 trailer fee hike, but Pritzker won’t let go of cash

A bipartisan bill to repeal a $100 hike on license plates for trailers has so many sponsors, it could pass the Illinois House. Still, the bill is stuck in committee because Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s administration wants to hold on to the revenue.

A bill to repeal the $100 hike on trailer license plates is so popular with state representatives that enough have signed on as bill sponsors to guarantee it would pass in a full Illinois House vote. But the bill can’t reach the House floor because it’s being held in a committee over worries the state can’t afford the revenue loss.

Some lawmakers are pointing out the state never should have had the money in the first place. The trailer fee bump to $118 from $18 was slipped in at the last minute on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s $45 billion capital bill, and lawmakers were told the hike was a mistake in 2019.

“I don’t need my bill to be the one to pass, but this is a terrible, terrible thing that we are not able to repeal this huge increase that went from $18 for the Boy Scouts to pull a parade float to $118,” state Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Raymond, April 14 told The Center Square.

Her bill, House Bill 636, has 62 sponsors. It only needs 60 votes to pass the full House, if it could get out of committee for that vote.

“Until I’m provided with a funding alternative, I’m not going to willy nilly send every single bill to the floor,” said state Rep. Mike Zalewski, D-Riverside.

Zalewski is chairman of the House Revenue and Finance Committee. He said the bill will remain in committee until the revenue issue is answered.

Illinois’ Boy Scout troops and those hauling motorcycles and mowers on trailers have already told state lawmakers what they think of the $100 trailer plate hike. There were 150,000 fewer trailer plates renewed in Illinois after the hike, said state Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield.

The issue is bipartisan. State representatives are hearing from constituents about the issue and there are multiple bills seeking to repeal the $100 trailer fee hike besides Bourne’s bill with the 62 sponsors.

“Sometimes we have to take a stand and this is one and we need to call this bill and call this bill this session, thank you very much,” state Rep. Marty Moylan, D-Des Plaines, said.

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