SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Jil Tracy (R-Quincy) says legislative changes approved Dec. 1 by the Senate do make improvements to the controversial SAFE-T Act, but do not fully address the front-line concerns of public safety personnel tasked with protecting Illinoisans.
“The changes approved Dec. 1 contain some much-needed changes; however, many glaring shortcomings remain. I support our law enforcement personnel who work tirelessly to maintain public safety,” Tracy said. “There are still many hindrances and obstacles in the SAFE-T Act that will make our communities less safe.”
The SAFE-T Act is a major criminal justice rewrite that was passed despite bipartisan opposition in a late-night lame-duck session January 13, 2021. Signed by Gov. JB Pritzker on February 22, 2021, the SAFE-T Act empowers criminals by making it harder to arrest violent offenders and keep them off the streets. Some of the especially controversial provisions, like ending the system of cash bail, were to take effect Jan. 1, 2023.
Tracy says state’s attorneys and law enforcement personnel from across Illinois have talked for months about how their work – and the ultimate safety of their communities – will be threatened when some provisions of the state’s controversial overhaul of its criminal justice system take effect next year.
Tracy says the SAFE-T Act also increases both costs and requirements on police departments, meaning that many communities would likely see cuts to their local police departments, higher property taxes, or a combination of the two.