Several Republican Senators unveiled a package of legislation this week specifically designed to empower law enforcement and to take on the crime wave that has enveloped local communities across the state.
The legislation includes criminal justice changes that would help keep violent offenders off of the streets while providing the law enforcement community with additional resources. Among other bills introduced in the package, the “Fund the Police Act” would provide a major infusion of resources to criminal justice and mental health programs, via a $100 million state appropriation.
The legislation also includes multiple measures to reduce the trafficking of illegal guns, keep violent gun offenders off of the street, increase penalties for criminals who assault law enforcement officers, and help protect communities and schools.
The legislative package also:
- Requires a defendant, who commits aggravated battery to a police officer to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.
- Requires a defendant, who brings a weapon or contraband into a penal institution, to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.
- Imposes a “ten and life” sentence for violent firearms offenses.
- Denies bail for previously-convicted gun offenders or a felon charged with a gun offense.
- Allows a school or school district to employ qualified retired law enforcement officers to carry out the duties of a school resource officer.
Senator Sue Rezin believes that with these bills being filed well ahead of the fall veto session, there is enough time during this session to take action.