The Illinois criminal justice system has become increasingly reliant on fees. People convicted of crimes have become money makers for state and local government — paying for everything from prosecutors' offices to new police cars.
This spring, the Illinois General Assembly is considering big changes to the system. State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a Democrat from Northbrook, served on a task force examining court fees (PDF) and is among the co-sponsors of the bipartisan legislation. Other backers include chief sponsor Rep. Steve Andersson, R-Geneva; House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs; and House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago.
Nekritz recently visited our Capitol bureau to speak with Statehouse reporter Brian Mackey.