Call to Action: Sign Petition Opposing HB 163
Over the last several days I have heard from hundreds of constituents urging me to vote against HB 163. This bill is currently before the legislature as a 600+ page Senate amendment to HB 163. It is being pushed by Democrats as a criminal justice bill. I believe HB 163 as written will have many unintended negative consequences that will make our communities less safe and it will make it more difficult for law enforcement to do their job.
I will be opposing this bill. Notably, this bill proposes 46 significant changes to our criminal justice system – all changes that are proposed without negotiation with those tasked with enforcing or laws. Law enforcement groups were not consulted. State’s Attorneys were not consulted. Victim’s Rights organizations were not consulted. Unions representing law enforcement were not consulted. And although we are used to inflammatory language around policy proposals, it is not an exaggeration to say that if this bill were to pass in its current form, it would be the end of policing as we know it. HB 163 would severely limit law enforcement officers’ ability to defend themselves, would almost mandate that criminals walk free after being arrested or would delay their arrest. This bill would also create costly new mandates on our local law enforcement with threats of reducing their funding if they do not comply. This bill goes against the recommendations of the Illinois Supreme Court.
Additionally, we are hearing that the sponsors of the bill are considering adding even more changes to this bill, including a measure that would reduce to a misdemeanor the criminal charge for possession of certain amounts of heroin and methamphetamine (meth). I will continue to monitor this bill and encourage you to do the same.
It is wildly irresponsible to push a bill of this magnitude through in an abbreviated veto session. This is being pushed when outgoing lawmakers are no longer accountable to voters.
Please join me in expressing your opposition to HB 163 by signing our petition. Click here to access our petition.
Madigan Temporarily Suspends Campaign for Speaker
Late this morning Speaker of the House Mike Madigan issued a statement that he is temporarily suspending his campaign to remain Speaker of the House for the upcoming 102nd General Assembly. House Democrats voted in a private meeting between three candidates for Speaker on Sunday, and Madigan was only able to secure 51 of the 60 required votes from his caucus. Chicago Democrat Ann Williams received 18 votes and DuPage County Democrat Stephanie Kifowit received 3 votes. Speaker Madigan’s statement read:
“This is not a withdrawal. I have suspended my campaign for Speaker. As I have said many times in the past, I have always put the best interest of the House Democratic Caucus and our members first. The House Democratic Caucus can work to find someone, other than me, to get 60 votes for Speaker.”
I am not voting for Mike Madigan as Speaker of the House, and it is up to House Democrats to come together to find a suitable alternative to serve as Speaker. We have had enough of Mike Madigan’s failed leadership. The Speaker issue remains a fluid situation that is changing by the hour. The formal election for Speaker of the House will take place on Wednesday afternoon immediately following the swearing in of the members of the 102nd General Assembly.
Inauguration for the 102nd General Assembly Set for Noon on Wednesday
The 118 State Representatives who were successful in the November 3 election will be sworn into office during an Inauguration ceremony that will be held on noon Wednesday at the Bank of Springfield Center. The ceremony will be streamed live at this link: https://ilga.gov/houseaudvid.asp. Look for the link for House Inauguration.
It is a privilege to continue in the role as your State Representative and I look forward to serving as the legislative voice of the 95th House District.