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Shift indicator doesn't light up

I have a 1999 Jeep Grand Cherokee and the gearshift indicator lights are supposed to be illuminated at night so you can see what gear you are in while driving. Unfortunately the lights aren’t working in this one and the local mechanic can’t find the problem. They found the light strip that is supposed to light up, but he says the whole shifter assembly should be replaced to the tune of $200 or more. There has to be an easier/cheaper solution, I just don’t know what it is.