Illinois Trucking Association Legislative Update 4/8/11

ITA Legislative & Regulatory Update

April 8, 2011

The Illinois General Assembly is continuing to debate legislative proposals ahead of next week's deadline for passing legislation through the first chamber. Lawmakers return to Springfield on Monday for another week of activity.

Action must be taken on several trucking industry bills before the April 15 deadline or these bills could be dead for this year's session. Please make sure to contact your legislators and encourage their support for the following trucking industry bills.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Transportation has unveiled its latest 6-year, $11.5 billion multi-year highway plan. The plan includes $8.3 billion for state highways and $3.2 billion for local highways

For more details on the plan and the list of highway projects, click on the following link: http://www.dot.il.gov/hip1217/hwyimprov.htm.

SENATE VOTES TO ELIMINATE MORE SPLIT SPEED LIMITS

ITA continues to advocate for uniform speed limits throughout Illinois, and on Friday the Illinois Senate unanimously passed legislation that would eliminate split speed limits for cars and trucks on Illinois' 4-lane highways that are not classified as interstates.

Two years ago, lawmakers passed and Governor Quinn signed legislation that eliminated split speed limits on Illinois' interstates outside of the Chicago-area, but the uniform speed limit legislation did not include 4-lane divided highways, such as US 20 in Northern Illinois, US 51 in Central Illinois, and Illinois Route 255 in the Metro East¬-St. Louis area where "Interstate" 255 ends.

The Illinois Senate voted 54-0 to approve SB 1913, sponsored by Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville), and the bill now moves on to the House. SB 1913 does not alter any speed limits in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake, McHenry, and Will Counties.

KINGPIN-REAR AXLE BILL PASSES SENATE

The Illinois Senate has unanimously approved a bill that would eliminate kingpin-rear axle length limits in Illinois. Trailers and combinations would still be subject to overall length limits and axle length limits.

Under current Illinois law, semitrailers on Class I and Class II highways cannot exceed 45.5 feet from the kingpin to the rear axle. On Class III or other state highways, semitrailers are limited to 42.5 feet from the kingpin to rear axle. Local roads, including county, city, or township roads, do not have kingpin to rear axle limits in Illinois.

SB 2056, sponsored by Sen. John Sullivan, passed the Illinois Senate on Friday by a vote of 54-0 and the bill now moves on to the Illinois House.

A similar bill, HB 3537, sponsored by Rep. David Reis (R-Olney), is awaiting a vote in the Illinois House. HB 3537 is an exemption from the above mentioned kingpin-rear axle limits for livestock trailers only.

CLARIFICATION ON TRUCK WEIGHT LIMITS AWAITS VOTE IN SENATE

SB 1644, Sen. John Sullivan, would clarify laws in the Illinois Vehicle Code that govern truck weight limits. The need for the existing five classifications of roadways in Illinois was essentially eliminated with passage of the Capital Bill two years ago.

In addition, SB 1644 will codify the 400-pound weight variance for Auxiliary Power Units that was included in the 2005 Federal Energy Bill. Since 2005, Illinois has had a 400-pound weight variance that Illinois State Police and the Illinois Department of Transportation recognize, but the 400-pound weight variance has never been incorporated into state law.

SB 1644 is currently awaiting a vote by the full Senate.

Please contact your State Senator and ask them to SUPPORT SB 1644.

SENATE PANEL VOTES TO LIMIT LOCAL PERMIT FEES

The Senate Transportation Committee has once again approved a bill that would limit how much local governments can charge for permits. The bill is aimed at preventing local governments from using the trucking industry to generate revenue.

SB 1732, sponsored by Sen. Martin Sandoval (D-Chicago), would limit cities, townships, and counties to using the fee schedule that IDOT uses in issuing permits for over-dimension vehicles.

Local governments are already limited in what they can charge for other traffic violations, they are limited in the speed limits they can post, and they are limited to various civil penalty amounts. Therefore, it only makes sense that a local government should not be able to charge excessive permit fees, particularly in order to tax specific industries such as trucking.

SB 1732 is currently awaiting a vote by the full Senate.

Please contact your State Senator and ask them to SUPPORT SB 1732.

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