SPRINGFIELD – A Dec. 28 ruling by a Kankakee County Circuit Judge declaring the pretrial release portion of the SAFE-T Act unconstitutional is not surprising, according to State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Cherry Valley), who has never supported the controversial law or the way it was forced through the Senate in late-night lame-duck session on Jan. 13, 2021.
“State’s attorneys and law enforcement personnel from across Illinois have talked for months about how their work – and the ultimate safety of their communities – will be threatened when some provisions of the state’s controversial overhaul of its criminal justice system take effect next year,” Syverson said. “It seems a Circuit Court Judge also agrees that making a bad bill ‘less bad’ is certainly not the complete answer. This is good news.”
Improvements to the SAFE-T Act were approved Dec. 1 by the General Assembly and signed into law by the Governor Dec. 6, but Syverson says those changes do not fully address the front-line concerns of public safety personnel tasked with protecting Illinoisans.
“I am proud to stand with our local law-enforcement, and on the side of protecting our families. The SAFE-T Act should have been repealed and lawmakers focused more on protecting the innocent public as opposed to expanding rights of criminals. The minor fixes or improvements in House Bill 1095 do not address the large underlying problems and concerns with the SAFE-T Act,” Syverson said. “The changes might make it look better at first but eventually, the end result of the SAFE-T Act is that Illinois families will be less safe in their own communities.”
Syverson also notes that despite the recent changes, the SAFE-T Act will also still increase costs on police departments and local governments, meaning that many communities would likely see cuts to their local police departments, higher property taxes, or a combination of the two.