House passes Moffitt bill to advance courthouse security
Springfield… A bill sponsored by State Representative Don Moffitt (R-Gilson) which would allow counties to assess a court security fee following a cost study passed the House today and is now awaiting action by Governor Rauner.
“This bill was brought to me by Illinois sheriffs who were concerned that funding for courthouse security was becoming inadequate for new screening and scanning technology,” Moffitt said. “If enacted, this would allow county boards to reassess their court security needs and use this fee to make needed improvements.”
The legislation specifies that the county would have to first conduct a cost study before raising the fee to reflect the true cost of providing security. The fee would not be assessed on taxpayers or the general public, but instead would be charged to parties in civil cases and in judgments entered against defendants.
“This change gives county boards the flexibility they need to do everything possible to ensure the safety of all persons using our court system, while not burdening the general public with a fee increase,” Moffitt said. “The halls of justice must be safe for everyone who enter,” Moffitt said.
The court security fee has been in place since 2003, and has not been raised in those 12 years. The legislation, Senate Bill 804, passed the Senate in March, where it was sponsored by Sen. William Haine (D-Alton), a former state’s attorney.