|During the final hours of the 2021 lame duck session, Illinois Democrats rammed through partisan legislation under the cover of darkness late at night that will put thousands of criminals, including violent offenders, right back out on the streets after their arrest, undermining the ability of police and prosecutors to do their jobs and putting families across Illinois at-risk. Governor Pritzker then signed this bill into law. Most Democrats voted YES and every single Republican voted NO. |
The Democrats’ so-called “SAFE-T” Act (HB 3653) contained many controversial provisions. The new law abolishes cash bail, makes it more difficult for prosecutors to charge a defendant with felony murder, adds further requirements for no-knock warrants, gives judges the ability to deviate from mandatory minimum sentencing requirements, makes changes to the “three strikes” law, and decreases mandatory supervised release terms, among other changes.
One of the most controversial aspects of the new law is that starting on January 1, 2023, the State of Illinois will eliminate its cash bail system, the first state in the nation to do so. Offenses for which people cannot be held in custody prior to trial include second degree murder, drug-induced homicide, robbery, burglary, arson, kidnapping, failure to register as a sex offender, battery, theft, criminal damage to property, driving under the influence, and all drug cases including selling drugs. This is outrageous and dangerous. There is no doubt: the elimination of cash bail will dramatically reduce public safety and lead to more crime, particularly more violent crime in Illinois.
I voted NO on the SAFE-T Act when it was passed, and I am currently a co-sponsor on four House Bills that would repeal the SAFE-T Act and/or restore monetary bail, including:
HB 4497 (Sponsored by Rep. Ryan Spain, R-Peoria)
HB 4499 (Sponsored by Rep. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis)
HB 4498 (Sponsored by Rep. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis)
HB 4475 (Sponsored by Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, R-Elmhurst)
I am also a co-sponsor of a House Resolution urging full repeal of the SAFE-T Act:
HR 598 (Sponsored by Rep. Patrick Windhorst, R-Metropolis)
Unfortunately, we will not be allowed to vote on any of these bills unless House Speaker Chris Welch, a Democrat who voted for the SAFE-T Act, agrees to release them from the Rules Committee. Call Speaker Welch at (217) 782-5350 and demand he stop blocking the House Bills mentioned above so that they can receive a hearing and an up-or-down vote.
You can make your voice heard by signing our statewide petition to support repeal of the SAFE-T Act that puts Illinois families at risk and makes our communities less safe. Visit Repeal the SAFE-T ACT (ilhousegop.org) to sign the petition. Together with thousands of like-minded citizens across Illinois, we can put pressure on Illinois Democrats to reverse course on their dangerous pro-criminal policies before it is too late.
If you are interested in seeing the list of how every State Representative voted on the SAFE-T Act, please click HERE. Y = a Yes vote, N = a No vote, while A = Absent, E = Excused, and NV = Not Voting, meaning the Representative was in the Chamber but chose not to vote on the bill. Several of the Democrats who voted Yes were lame ducks. The SAFE-T Act was passed on the very last night of their term so that they would not be accountable to the voters in their district. If you are interested in finding contact information for the Representatives who voted Yes on the SAFE-T Act that are still in office, please click HERE to access the House Member Directory. You may click on the name of any Representative to obtain their contact information.