CHICAGO (CBS) — A bipartisan alliance of local elected officials has proposed changing the way bail bonds are processed, to make paying bail fairer.

If a criminal defendant posts bail to go free pending trial, county clerks across the state keep 10 percent of the money as a processing fee, no matter the crime, even if charges are later dropped.

Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey (D-12th) said that brings in $5 million to $7 million for the Cook County courts alone, from people who often can’t afford it.

“If the charges against you are dropped, you’re still required to forfeit that 10 percent to Cook County. We believe that it’s time for a change,” he said.

Fritchey and Illinois State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) have sponsored proposed legislation to cap the processing fee at $100.

“What does it cost to process that paperwork? And once that’s been developed and made known, that should be the fee for everyone, irrespective of what crime they’re charged with,” Sandack said.

Both men acknowledged the measure would put pressure on county clerks to cut their budgets. The proposal would only affect courts in Cook County.