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Gov. Pritzker signs sweeping Illinois criminal justice overhaul, which will end cash bail starting in 2023

Dan Petrella, Chicago Tribune on

Published in News & Features

“This process was not rushed,” he said.

Rather than talking about substantive policy disagreements, opponents are “making a partisan issue out of public safety,” Sims said.

Aside from critics in law enforcement, some local government leaders have raised concerns about the cost of purchasing and maintaining body cameras and other provisions that could raise costs by requiring additional training for police officers.

The Illinois Municipal League, which represents local governments across the state, was successful in getting sponsors to rewrite the legislation to remove a provision that would have withheld some state funding from municipalities that failed to comply with the body camera requirements and another that critics said would have made it easier to sue police officers. The group has said it will continue pushing for changes that would prevent towns from having to spend more money.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, who is preparing her own proposal for civilian oversight of Chicago police, praised the state legislation on Twitter, calling it “a monumental step forward toward addressing the legacy of institutional racism in our justice system.”

 

As for the financial concerns, Sims, who also chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, said he is committed to looking for ways during budget negotiations to help local governments shoulder the cost.

In his budget plan presented last week, Pritzker called for a $10.3 million funding increase for the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board to help implement new training requirements.

He did not call for any increased funding to help local police departments purchase body cameras, though only the Chicago Police Department and the sheriff’s offices in Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties will be required to have them for all officers by Jan. 1.

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