Criminal justice proposal sent to Governor despite public outcry

State Senator Fowler received feedback from local law enforcement after hosting a Zoom video conference last week about the controversial criminal justice reform proposal that is awaiting action from the Governor.

Throughout the week, Senate Republicans brought together almost 500 representatives of Illinois’ law enforcement community to discuss House Bill 3653. This radical proposal would change Illinois’ criminal justice system and impact how law enforcement professionals are able to perform their duties.

Major concerns voiced by law enforcement during the meetings include:

Efforts being undertaken to eliminate cash bail;
Financial burdens being placed on local police forces resulting from unfunded mandates;
Concerns about enforcement of the law, including Class B or C misdemeanors;
Not being allowed the opportunity to have input in crafting the legislation;
Ongoing concerns and potential threat to qualified immunity;
Restrictions being placed on law enforcement officers, including not allowing officers to review body camera footage before writing a report.
The proposal was rammed through lame-duck session with no Senate Republican support.

Despite the public outcry opposing the measure, House Bill 3653 has officially been sent to the Governor for his consideration as of Feb. 4. Now that the Governor has the proposal, Senate Republicans are continuing their Call to Action, asking citizens to voice their opposition to the measure by reaching out to the Governor’s office and expressing their opinions about this dangerous reform proposal.

Senate Republican lawmakers also issued a formal letter to Governor Pritzker on Feb. 5 requesting that he veto the proposal. In the letter, the Republican lawmakers write that House Bill 3653 will make it harder for the people working in the criminal justice system to do their jobs. The letter also goes on to urge the Governor to veto the proposal so that lawmakers can return to session, work together on criminal justice reforms and provide the citizens of this state with a more just and equitable justice system.

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