One of the more loathsome practices of government is when leaders collect money for one purpose then use it for another. That’s what happened to Illinois’ auto theft task forces.
Insurance customers pay a fee to the state for programs created to battle auto theft, but a budget deal this year funneled $6 million away from that purpose and into the general fund. This isn’t the first time the task forces have had their funding redirected by a state desperate for money.
At last, the funds could be earmarked for their rightful purpose only. The bill, sponsored by Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, passed the Senate unanimously on Friday; a similar version previously passed the House with just one “no” vote. Now it’s important that lawmakers finish the job. The House needs to concur on some changes to the language of the bill so Gov. Bruce Rauner can sign it.
If the bill becomes law, Illinois will continue to aggressively fight auto theft, which benefits motorists by holding down their insurance premiums. If approved, vehicles no doubt will continue to get stolen but the funds to fight the thefts will not.