By Robert Reed, Chicago Tribune

CHICAGO, July 3 — Many of the state’s poorest residents could soon pay more to cash a check at a local currency exchange, courtesy of a rate hike recommended by Gov. Bruce Rauner‘s administration.

The Illinois agency that regulates currency exchanges has approved double-digit percentage increases of the industry’s state-sanctioned check-cashing fees. The hike covers all checks, including government-backed, payroll and personal.

What we have here is a flawed rate increase plan that promises to have an oversized impact on lower-income households already scratching out a living. The burden will fall mostly on people who often must use currency exchanges because their neighborhoods lack affordable retail banking options.

However, there’s a chance the increase could be stopped or altered since a bipartisan panel of lawmakers is responsible for “codifying,” or legally approving, the agency’s action.

Instead of just nodding “yes,” legislators should spike this hike and replace it with a more equitable fee schedule that doesn’t make poor people a little poorer every time they cash a check at a currency exchange.

“There’s still time,” says Brent Adams, senior vice president of policy at the Woodstock Institute, an advocacy group that’s taking the lead in opposing the scheme.

View the whole column here