In a legislative update, Illinois state Rep. Dan Caulkins highlighted three bills passed Jan. 5, including a push for remote voting, judicial subcircuit changes and an amendment to the Unified Code of Corrections.

House Resolution 595 (HR595), opposed by Caulkins, states the House may allow members to remotely participate and vote in session on any matter before the House that day, given there is a quorum of members physically present at the location of the session.

According to legislation, Rep. Greg Harris filed HR595 on Jan 4, and it passed Jan. 5. 

“Members need to be in their seats and speaking up on the issues on behalf of their constituents," Caulkins said. "It is much more powerful to be there in person and in discussion with members on the important issues we vote on."

The second bill, House Bill 3138, passed 64-34 with no Republican votes. It creates judicial subcircuits in three counties and redistricts other subcircuits in counties that already have political subcircuits.

“It blatantly allows  for the judiciary to become more partisan,” Caulkins said. “In that regard, the lighter bail or no-cash bail, determinations that are commonplace in Cook County will filter into the neighboring county of DuPage, which is known for giving people with serious felony arrests tougher bail conditions.”


Senate sponsors of the controversial HB3138 include Sen. President Don  Harmon (D) and Sen. John Connor (D). Rep. Elizabeth Hernandez (D) sponsored the bill on  the house side. 


The final bill, HB3512, passed 67-42 with another opposition by Caulkins. It places the Prisoner Review Board as the authority for setting conditions of a mandatory supervised release and determining actions taken if a violation of the set conditions occurs. 


“Trailer bills are bills that fix mistakes that were unintended or usually that received a backlash from the community dealing with the issue that a change was necessary," Caulkins said. "This bill tweaked changes on phone call protocol of people arrested, dates on when mandatory supervised release for class 3 and 4 felons take place, and  changes to the Police Training act including offenses that would  automatically decertify an officer."