Lawmaker says she never wanted to ban self-pumped gas

Rep. Camille Lilly said the short language in her bill did not fully reflect her intention

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By Michael Romain

Editor

State Rep. Camille Y. Lilly (78th) has been doing damage control ever since announcing her proposed Gas Station Attendant Act earlier this month, which according to the summary posted on the Illinois General Assembly's legislative and information website will effectively ban consumers from pumping their own gas at fueling stations. 

House Bill 4571, which Lilly filed on Feb. 5, provides "that no gas may be pumped at a gas station in this State unless it is pumped by a gas station attendant employed at the gas station." 

In a statement her office has released since then, however, Lilly said that HB 4571 "is not intended pass as is," adding that the bill's intention "is to give consumers the option to be serviced by a gas station attendant, in addition to the self-service option currently used." 

Lilly, whose district spans parts of Austin, added that the proposed bill may potentially create jobs "that impact the local economy." 

During a Feb. 14 interview on WGN Radio 720, Lilly said that banning self-pumped gas "was never a consideration" and that the bill "was a vehicle to begin conversation and it did that." 

Lilly said she had been fielding safety concerns at area gas stations from senior citizens, parents and disabled residents. 

Lilly also placed some blame for the confusion on the Illinois Legislative Research Unit, the nonpartisan legislative research agency that state lawmakers rely on to do the legwork of translating their intentions into actual policy. Lilly said the description online is not what she intended to propose. 

She added that the bill is a vehicle designed to move the conversation forward and that she plans on working with "consumers, gas station owners and the industry to figure out how we can bring forth convenience and safety at the pump — and maybe, possibly create jobs." 

CONTACT: michael@austinweeklynews.com 

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