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State Rep. Camille Lilly on proposed bill: It was ‘never the intent’ to make pumping own gas illegal in Illinois

Pioneer Press

Thursday, February 13, 2020  |  Article  |  Steve Schering

Legislature (56)

During a town hall Tuesday night in Oak Park, state Rep. Camille Y. Lilly appeared to backtrack on parts of her proposed bill that would make pumping your own gas illegal in Illinois.


Lilly appeared with State Sen. Don Harmon at the Oak Park Public Library to discuss the state’s proposed graduated income tax, which will appear on the November ballot. Following that discussion, Lilly addressed the crowd about the gas pumping issue that had been in the news throughout the day.


“The bill I chose looked at bringing what I would title safety and convenience at the gas pump,” Lilly said. “It had some verbiage that was not my intent at all.”

The bill, which had its first reading Feb. 5, has been referred to the rules committee for review.


As currently written, HB 4571 would create the “Gas Station Attendant Act,” which provides that no gas may be pumped at a gas station in the state unless it is pumped by a gas station attendant employed at the gas station.


Lilly said the bill was designed to address convenience and safety issues at the gas pump, adding it is her plan to let people continue to pump their own gas should they want.


“You can continue to do that with this concept,” Lilly said. “As mentioned, the bill that is out there, it was just a vehicle to be utilized to talk about what the intent is. The thought we discussed was how can you have both these options at a gas station. This is not a bill I would move forward to make pumping your own gas illegal. That was never the intent.”


When one attendant pointed out full-service is available at some Illinois gas stations already, Lilly said she merely wanted to provide that option to all drivers who may need help when pumping gas.


“Not every station has these options,” Lilly said. “[Drivers] have to go around and find where they’re going to get that convenience. We’re having an increase in fires at gas stations around the country. We have a number of people who may be in a hurry and don’t know how to use the new technology. There are options to allow [full-service] and continue what we are doing.”


Some in attendance felt such a law could drive up gas prices even higher as stations would likely pass along new employee expenses to consumers.


 “I really believe, as we move forward in our economy and society, things often change,” Lilly said. “That’s how we got self-service. We thought that would be a discount for everyone pumping their own gas. Gas has been going up ever since.”


Lilly reiterated her intent to use the bill as the beginning of a discussion on how to shape such a law and not ban self-service at Illinois gas pumps.


“What I’m saying is let’s talk to people and see where they are,” Lilly said. “The talks [so far] got really muddled because everyone has an opinion and we want to respect that. We’re not going to create legislation that’s not the desire of Illinois.”


New Jersey is the only state that requires full service at gas stations. Oregon, which previously had such a law, loosened those restrictions in 2018.