On Nov. 1, Gov. Pritzker issued a far-reaching executive order targeting gun violence in the state. Much of the Governor’s order itself is actually related to implementing legislation passed by lawmakers earlier in the year, including legislation creating the Reimagine Public Safety Act and the Office of Firearm Violence. The executive order also declares gun violence as a public health crisis.
The Reimagine Public Safety Act includes grants for violence prevention and intervention programs, youth development programs, and trauma recovery services for young people. According to the Governor’s press release, $250 million would be invested in the act over the next three years. As $50 million was included in the current-year budget, an additional $200 million would have to be appropriated over the next two years.
The executive order also requires inter-agency cooperation to curb firearm violence in the most affected communities, spearheaded by the newly created Office of Firearm Violence at the Illinois Department of Human Services (DHS). It also authorizes DHS to work with academic institutions for research on violent crime and prevention.
Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) is encouraged by the executive order and thankful that the Governor and legislative leaders are finally showing concern for public safety. She is still disappointed that the majority party hasn’t been willing to take a more comprehensive approach, and that they have been blocking action on criminal justice bills filed by Republicans.