State Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Clinton) has a simple reason why he’s so staunchly opposed to the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today law (SAFE-T Act).

“Crime numbers are much higher when people who commit crimes feel as if there are no consequences for their actions,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun, adding that any time such a law has been enacted anywhere in the country that has been the end result. “I do not support this law and never have from the very beginning.”

Among the tenements of SAFE-T is a provision that institutes the elimination of the cash bail system commencing in early in 2023. Supporters of the law also argue it stands to make for a fairer and more equitable justice system.

Caulkins has had plenty of company in speaking out against the new system. Earlier this year, a group of state’s attorneys came together to castigate the new law, with one insisting “with this new law, our hands will be tied. What sane citizen in this state of Illinois would want the state’s attorney’s hands tied; the police hands tied and give all the perks going to violent offenders. That’s what this law does.”

Caulkins has been just as adamant.

“It definitely will not make us safer,” he said, adding he feels that those who argue that the new standards make for a fairer and more equitable system are far off base.

“There have to be consequences for breaking the law,” he said. “It's not just Illinois; this kind of law has no chance of working anywhere.”

Through it all, Gov. J.B. Pritzker and democrats have remained firm in their support of the measure, with Pritzker recently telling The Center Square “we do not want someone in jail because they were arrested for a low-level crime like shoplifting to be sitting in jail for months or maybe even years. At the same time, someone who is a wealthy drug dealer, perhaps accused of murder and arrested, can show up with a suitcase full of money and get out of jail."

With reporting GOP lawmakers have taken to referring to SAFE-T as a “de facto defund the police bill" given all the added restrictions it handcuffs officers with, the elimination of cash bail is set to become effective Jan. 1, 2023