Taking a stand against crime and violence

Last February, the Governor signed a massive criminal justice reform bill into law that has resulted in increased crime and violence throughout the state. The 600-page bill was hastily crafted with minimal input from law enforcement and Republican lawmakers. In the waning hours of the lame-duck legislative session, while most Illinoisans were sleeping, the billpassed the House with the bare minimum number of votes. 

House Republicans questioned provisions in the legislation that put public safety at risk, but the Democratic majority dismissed law enforcement and Republican concerns out-of-hand. The Democratic-controlled House would not allow adequate debate on this massive piece of legislation, allowing only two Republican members the opportunity to speak to the bill or question the sponsor. They simply didn’t want to hear objections, no matter how pertinent or accurate. Period. 

Nearly one year later, Democrats have come to the realization they had gone too far with the SAFE-T ACT. They are now just looking at ways to mitigate the damage they have caused and respond to beleaguered constituents who are sick and tired of crime in their neighborhoods.

In contrast, House Republicans have taken action to protect residents by introducing well-thought-out and sensible pieces of legislation designed to keep all Illinoisans safe.

Here are a few of the Public Safety bills introduced to-date by Republicans for the Spring Session 2022.

Victim-Focused Overhaul of Pritzker’s Prisoner Review Board
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin has filed HB 5126, legislation that would protect victims of violent crime by ensuring dangerous offenders remain behind bars and the interests of victims outweigh those of criminals. Read more.

Death Penalty for Cop Killers

Asserting “(c)riminals need to know that severe consequences await them if they take up arms against our police officers.” Illinois State Representative Dave Severin has filed legislation, HB 4746, to reinstate the option for juries to select the death penalty as punishment for the first-degree murder of law enforcement officers. Read more.

Stalkerware Prohibitions
Assistant Minority Leader Keith Wheeler has filed HB 4726, legislation to criminalize the use of stalkerware when it is used to secretly monitor or track someone. Stalkerware refers to software programs, apps and tracking devices (like Apple Air Tags, Tile) that enable someone to secretly spy on another person’s private life. Domestic violence victims have often fallen victim to electronic monitoring by their abusers. Read more.

Enhanced Penalties for Those Fleeing Police
A significant uptick in the number of fleeing and eluding police incidents has been a public safety concern. State Representative Amy Elik has introduced HB 4585, legislation that increases the penalties for aggravated fleeing and eluding to deter the action. Read more.

Protecting DCFS Investigators
State Representative Tony McCombie continues to advocate for state employees who often are put in harms way in order to protect children and other vulnerable populations. She has re-filed legislation to increase penalties on people who harm DCFS investigators and others performing similar duties on behalf of the state. HB 3933 would treat attacks on DCFS investigators the same way attacks on teachers and firefighters are treated. Read more.