DuPage County Votes Postpone Discussions on HB3653
January 26, 2021

DuPage County Votes Postpone Discussions on HB3653

At the latest DuPage County Board meeting the group discussed a resolution that would recommend to Governor J.B. Pritzker to veto House Bill 3653.

HB3653

The bill is groundbreaking legislation that would bring significant changes to the state’s criminal justice system. Those include ending cash bail, expanding use of force guidelines and training for police, and requiring all police officers to wear body cameras by 2025, among various other reforms. It’s also a controversial bill as many feel it would be a detriment to law enforcement.

Concerns About The Bill

DuPage County State’s Attorney Bob Berlin shared his concerns about the bill, including the provision of abolishing cash bails.

“On page 336 the bill states that detention shall only be imposed when it is determined that the defendant poses a specific, real, and present threat to a person or has a high likelihood of willful flight” said Berlin.

In an example, Berlin explained the difficulty that the state would then have of proving someone is threat to another person in a domestic homicide case.

Financial Concerns

Some board members had concerns on how the county would fund some mandates the bill requires.

“When we start losing revenue sources that fund our court systems, state’s attorney office, and sheriff’s department we’re going to have to make some serious budget decisions where we may have to slash some parts of the budget to fund our court systems more,” said Board member Sadia Covert. “We might have to increase our court fees if we get rid of one part of cash bails…People that are low-income can’t afford cash bail and that can not afford high [court] fees.”

Covert said the county is looking into the possibility of some of mandates being funded by grants.

Postpone The Discussion?

Other board members felt the county board shouldn’t be discussing the matter as it was passed in the state level.

“I don’t believe our job as county board is to debate the merits of this bill, that was done in Springfield.” board member Elizabeth Chaplin. “We’ve been told numerous times not to bring politics to this board’s floor. The resolution before us is political in nature.”

Chaplin said voting on the matter of asking the governor to veto the bill would set a bad precedent, and motioned to postpone the resolution indefinitely.

The board voted 10-8 to postpone the discussion indefinitely.

Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.

 

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