Metro-East News

Senate votes to fund auto theft task force

Lawmakers on Friday gave a statewide task force that investigates car thefts a boost after the state Senate approved a bill that widens the program’s scope and blocks the program from cuts proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Cuts Rauner proposed in January would have meant the Illinois Auto Theft Task Force would have gone without up to $6 million in funding this year.

The Senate voted 49-0 to approve an amended version of the measure that’s sponsored by Alton Democrat Bill Haine. The House previously voted 107-1 in favor of the measure that keeps the program operating at full capacity. They’ll have to vote a second time to concur with the Senate’s version of the bill before it heads to Rauner’s desk.

“If auto theft is on the rise and is unchecked, then the insurance companies have losses and premiums go up,” Haine said in a statement. “This program reduces the burden on the consumer by keeping premium costs down.”

The Metro-East Auto Theft Task Force is a part of the statewide program.