During the final hours of this spring’s legislative session, the General Assembly passed legislation that provides Illinois law enforcement with additional funding for a mental health, retention incentives, pay increases, day care support, retirement assistance, and body cameras. Additionally, water-downed legislation to help combat organized retail theft and carjackings made their way to the Governor’s desk.
These measures were all filed and passed within a matter of a few days, as Democrats appeared to scramble to take some action regarding the rise in violent crime. However, Senate Republicans have had proposals on the table for nearly a year and a half that not only provide aid to help law enforcement officers, but also hold violent criminals accountable—something clearly lacking from what was passed out of the legislature.
State Senator Sue Rezin says that while Democrats have finally taken an interest in the state’s spiking crime and the lack of resources that police officers need to fight back, she would have liked to see the General Assembly take up ideas within the Senate Republicans’ public safety package in order to truly address the underlying issues causing the problems.
Senator Rezin stated that she fears that without the passage of legislation that truly holds violent criminals accountable for their actions, the measures that passed may only serve as a temporarily band-aid.