Illinois’ House GOP leader criticizes Democrats’ support of drug decriminalization

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(The Center Square) – With weeks before voters head to the polls, Illinois’ House minority leader is speaking out against legislation Democrats passed in the House that looks to decriminalize the possession of heroin, crack, meth and fentanyl.

House Bill 3447 passed through the House in a 61-47 vote in April only to stall in the Senate.

The measure would have implemented looser penalties for possessing fewer than 3 grams of any substances to a Class A Misdemeanor.

Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, criticized state Rep. Anne Stava-Murray, D-Downers Grove, and state Rep. Janet Yang Rohr, D-Naperville, for supporting the measure. Both are DuPage County Democrats that face Republican opponents.

"By decriminalizing these substances and making it a misdemeanor, similar to having an open six-pack of beer, is one of the most irresponsible votes of any legislator to do," Durkin told The Center Square. "All while proclaiming to the people they represent that they are all for public safety."

Durkin also called the move to support the decriminalization disrespectful toward families of victims of these substances.

"I think its really a slap in the face to these families," Durkin said. "The 26 families in Naperville, the 18 families in Downers Grove, the 14 families in Lisle, and 130 other people, just last year."

The statement comes nearly two months before the November election in which Durkin urged DuPage voters to reconsider their candidates.

"DuPage voters have a choice this election cycle. They can choose Democrats like Stava-Murray and Yang Rohr and their disastrous soft-on-crime policies, or they can choose House Republican candidates like Paul Leong and Rich Janor that are focused on restoring law and order and public safety to our communities."

Stava-Murray and Yang Rohr did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

The election is Nov. 8. Early voting starts Sept. 29.

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September 6, 2022 at 06:57PM

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