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Laws give Kane County new revenue sources

GENEVA – State lawmakers this week gave Kane County new ways to raise revenues.

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday approved two bills relating to the court services fee and a judicial facilities fee – two items Kane County Board members have asked legislators to support.

Through a judicial facilities fee, Kane County will be able to raise money for the expansion of the judicial center campus at Route 38 and Peck Road in St. Charles Township. The fee may be imposed on civil and criminal cases and is not to exceed $30.

In previous discussions, Kane County Board members noted the ability to impose such a fee already was granted for Will County.

Last year, Kane County Board members saw illustrations of how the judicial center campus might expand to hold all of the county’s judicial services, including the circuit clerk’s office and civil and criminal cases.

Board member Brian Pollock, who also serves on the Legislative Committee, said it has been included in the county’s master plan for more than two decades.

“It’s needed,” he said.

State Sen. Karen McConnaughay, R-St. Charles, was among the bill’s sponsors.

“It’s important to ensure that we have adequate facilities for our judicial system, she stated in a release. “I’m happy to have been able to sponsor this legislation that allows Kane County to build a new courthouse.”

That law took effect Tuesday, whereas the legislation concerning a court services fee takes effect Jan. 1. It will allow counties to set a court security user fee based on the actual costs of providing court security – guards, bailiffs and metal detectors, for example. Previous language limited the fee to $25.

A preliminary study projected the county takes $600,000 to $900,000 from the general fund to pay for safety services each year, Pollock has said.

This year, court security fee revenue is projected to be $280,000 below budget, according to a report Executive Finance Director Joe Onzick presented to the Executive Committee on Wednesday.

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