LITCHFIELD–Today Governor JB Pritzker signed House Bill 3653 into law. This bill, opposed by every law enforcement organization in the state, will turn suspected criminals back on to the streets hours after being arrested, take away resources from local counties, set new costly mandates on law enforcement, and make it more difficult for law enforcement to perform their duties. This bill passed by one vote in the Illinois House of Representatives after a marathon all night session.
State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) responded to the signing of this bill saying, “This measure becoming law will increase crime, and make Illinoisans less safe. Governor Pritzker is prioritizing making life easier for criminals and making life more difficult for law enforcement.”
Some of the most concerning aspects of the legislation, authored and pushed by the Illinois Black Caucus, include the following:
- Abolishes cash bail, and removes ability of judges to hold someone who is considered a danger to the community.
- Allows for anonymous complaints to be used against police officers in disciplinary and decertification hearings.
- No ability for expungement of frivolous complaints
- Allows for victims of crime, regardless of age, to be compelled to testify at a bond hearing by the defense attorney.
- Costly mandates contained in the bill are especially harmful to our state’s smaller municipalities and could result in reduced police presence across Illinois.
- Bill language is unclear and contradictory, making it more difficult for law enforcement and the court system to do their jobs. For example, police certification allows for confidential and anonymous complaints.
- There is no transparency in the legislative process to work out the unintended consequences of this massive bill, which directly affects public safety in Illinois.
“As lawmakers, we need to make every effort to support our law enforcement officers and increase public safety efforts,” Rep. Bourne added. “Governor Pritzker has turned his back on law enforcement today – penalizing all of the good law enforcement who keep us safe every day.”
“I voted no. And, a bipartisan group of legislators voted against this terrible bill. This measure is out of step with what a majority of Illinoisans believe. Today, with this bill now becoming state law, their concerns are still valid: these sweeping changes to our criminal justice system will do more harm than good.”
The Illinois Sheriff’s Association, Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, and the FOP Labor Council also criticized the bill warning, “The new law is a blatant move to punish an entire, honorable profession that will end up hurting law-abiding citizens the most. We urge all citizens to remember who supported this law, and keep that in mind the next time they look to the police in Illinois for the protection they can no longer provide.”
The end of cash bail as mandated in HB3653 will go into effect January 2023 while local municipalities will be on a rolling compliance schedule for the use of body cameras.