Southern Illinois lawmakers urge Pritzker to veto Criminal Justice Reform Bill

On Tuesday, Jan. 26, six southern Illinois Republican lawmakers hosted a first of its kind virtual town hall meeting live on Facebook to highlight their concerns with a criminal justice reform package passed during the recent lame-duck session of the Illinois General Assembly. Multiple law enforcement groups opposed HB 3653. Opponents included Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, Illinois Sheriffs’ Association and the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police.

The Republican state senators and state representatives presentation to the Facebook live audience highlighted a rushed process they say has resulted in a dangerous, confusing, and potentially inoperable package of reforms.

In the late hours of the night and early hours of the morning on the last day of the 101st General Assembly resulted in the passage of legislation that State Rep. Patrick Windhorst (Metropolis) says has intended and unintended consequences.

“What we’re hearing is that this legislation will make police officers’ jobs much more difficult, and make all Illinois communities less safe,” Windhorst said. “As the lead questioner of the bill’s sponsor on the day the bill passed, I can confirm that the sponsor, Democrat staff, the witnesses that spoke in committee on behalf of the bill and unfortunately the people of Illinois still to this day do not know or appreciate the practical impacts this sweeping criminal justice reform package will have.”

For more on this Bill, please see this week’s print edition.