(WAND) – Republicans will try once again to bring get tough crime bills forward and a resolution to repeal a criminal justice reform bill passed in January 2021.
State Representative Dan Caulkins, (R) Decatur, and State Senator Chapin Rose, (R) Mahomet, both filed bills last fall to enhance penalties for certain violent crimes including strict guidelines for sentencing those convicted of being a felon in possession of a gun. The widow of a slain Champaign police officer even appeared at the State Capitol to help push for passage of the measures during the fall veto session but the bills were not even assigned to a committee by the Democratic majority.
On Wednesday, three GOP lawmakers claimed the passage of the reform bill one year ago has led to an increase in crime even though portions of the measure have not yet been implemented.
“What will happen when remaining provisions become effective,” asked State Representative Patrick Windhorst, (R) Metropolis. “Particularly the elimination of the cash bail system. Our concern is that it will lead to further increase in crime and reduced public safety.”
Another Republican lawmaker, Representative Tony McCombie (R) Savanna, pointed to the loss of sheriffs and problems law enforcement is having hiring new officers.
“In 2022 we will see a record number of elected sheriffs retiring or moving on to other states,” McCombie told reporters. “Law enforcement recruitment is in a crisis. Not just in our sheriffs. It’s also in our cities, our small villages and communities.”
All of the measures face an uphill battle in the Democratic controlled legislature.
Do you like this page?