Lawmakers weigh suspending fines for late car plate renewals

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Capitol building in Springfield, Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) –┬áIllinois lawmakers are considering suspending late fees for license plate renewals that have caused a windfall for the state after it stopped sending reminders to residents to save money.

Not mailing the notices has caused a dramatic increase in fees. The Associated Press reported Thursday that drivers paid more than $2.7 million in fines from Jan. 1 through Feb. 22. That’s $1.2 million more than a year ago.

One proposed measure would suspend the $20 fine for motorists until the state ends its 8-month-old budget deadlock. The Secretary of State’s office stopped mailing reminders in October to save an estimated $450,000 a month on postage.

Rep. Jaime Andrade is sponsoring the legislation. The Chicago Democrat says the surprise cost is unfair to residents living on their own tight budgets.