Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 3653 today, which will implement sweeping criminal justice reform statewide.
Included in the bill, introduced by the Illinois Legislative Black Caucus, are provisions that would end cash bail, ban police chokeholds, require all police officers to wear body cameras by 2025, makes it a felony for an officer to turn off their camera, and many more reforms.
Pritzker signed the bill at Chicago State University and recognized all the elected officials and activists who helped create the bill in the wake of the murder of George Floyd last summer.
“They transformed the pain into progress, and in just a few moments, into law,” he said.
Critics of the Bill
Some state and local officials have opposed the bill, both for its content and for the manner in which the bill was passed. Though previous versions of the bill were available before, the final version of the 700-page legislation was presented less than an hour before it was brought up for a vote in the state senate at 4:49 a.m. on January 13.
The Naperville Park District unanimously passed a resolution in January calling for Pritzker to veto the bill. Naperville City Council voted against a similar resolution, and the DuPage County Board tabled a vote on their own resolution. DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick and Naperville Police Chief Bob Marshall are publicly opposed to the bill.
“My major concern is that the police weren’t involved in this,” said Sheriff Mendrick after the bill passed the house and senate. “I would’ve loved to be involved in something like this. Police reform would’ve been a great thing to include the police in. The problem with not including us is people can have great idea, but it’s all smoke if it’s not all implementable. You want any program, you’re going to want to put time and effort to develop to be implementable. This one just seemed frankly sneaky.”
Those in Support
Others, including local lawmakers like Anne Stava-Murray, who co-sponsored the bill, say these reforms are long overdue.
“I think that we have been really forced to reckon as a country with the police violence that we have allowed to go on for far too long,” Representative Stava-Murray told NCTV in January. “So I think, making sure that we are being responsive to the largest civil rights movement in history was something that we thought about as a body and as a community.”
Pritzker Says Illinois Will Be Safer
“All Illinoisans will live in a safer and more just state with this law on the books,” said Pritzker. “This legislation marks a substantial step in dismantling the systemic racism that plagues our state.”
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
You can view the entire text of House Bill 3653 here.
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