Jury reform bill goes to House Rules Committee

Amelia Flood Apr. 16, 2009, 1:50am


SPRINGFIELD – A House bill to raise the amount of money jurors are paid -- and to protect workers serving on juries -- has gone to the House Rules Committee.

Republican State Rep. Sidney Mathias, from the 53rd district in Arlington Heights, is the bill's sponsor.

The bill's first reading was on Feb. 26 and was assigned to the House Judiciary Civil Law Committee before it was referred to the Rules Committee.

The bill establishes a jury fund fee that would be paid for by both plaintiffs and defendants. The funds would then go to increase the pay of jurors to $25-$40 daily. Currently, those serving on juries make between $4 - $10 per day of service.

The bill also makes mention of travel reimbursements.

Another provision in the Mathias bill protects worker leave. If a worker is called to serve on a jury, he or she would not be required to use vacation, sick or other types of leave to meet their requirement, according to the bill.

Employers would have to grant the worker time off if the person gave reasonable notice of the jury duty. Employers would not, however, have to grant the person vacation or other leave just for serving on a jury.

If passed, the proposed law would apply throughout Illinois including home-rule communities.

The bill is HB4002.

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