Rep. DeLuca HB 3653: Pritzker Shows ‘Stunning Lack Of Leadership’

CHICAGO HEIGHTS, IL — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Monday signed a sweeping package of criminal law and police accountability reforms, making Illinois the first state in the nation to abolish cash bail for pretrial detention, and some local officials are disappointed in his decision.

House Bill 3653, a criminal justice omnibus bill sponsored by the Legislative Black Caucus, passed the Senate 32-23 and the House by a vote of 60-50 with about an hour remaining in last month’s lame-duck legislative session. Pritzker held a signing ceremony Monday at Chicago State University with state lawmakers, law enforcement members and activists from community groups.

State Rep. Anthony DeLuca, D- Chicago Heights, who did not vote on bill, told Patch that he spoke with Pritzker on Feb. 10 during an in-person meeting at the state capital, regarding police accountability language, after Pritzker informed DeLuca he intends to sign the bill.

“I opposed aspects of HB3653 and therefore did not vote in favor of it. I expressed to Governor Pritzker in the strongest terms serious concerns existed especially related to ‘use of force.’ Governor Pritzker understood law enforcement offered changes and that the proponents were aware more work on the language was necessary,” DeLuca said. “Yet, at the bill signing we heard divisive rhetoric and a failure to acknowledge a good faith effort was needed by both sides to improve the now law. To miss this opportunity to reach out to law enforcement and concerned citizens across Illinois, and to acknowledge more work was necessary to get this right, was a stunning lack of leadership and unfortunate.”

DeLuca added, “I’ll continue working with law enforcement and the bill sponsors to support and protect police officers and the general public, while improving public safety for all.”

Police unions and other associations representing law enforcement officials have opposed the bill.

Last week, the state lodge of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police released the results of a January survey of 1,500 members that found police officers oppose the reforms. Nearly half said they were actively looking into leaving Illinois, with 40 percent of that group indicating they will leave the field of law enforcement entirely.

A total of 97 percent of responding officers “feel physically or financially threatened by the provisions of the legislation,” 97 percent said it will have an effect on the way “they, their families and friends will vote in future elections” and 99 percent thought it would “embolden criminals.”

Read more about the laws signed by Pritzker here.


via Chicago Heights Patch

February 25, 2021 at 03:27PM

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