On July 18, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the highly controversial SAFE-T Act. Despite strong opposition from law enforcement and state’s attorneys across the state, the court issued a split 5-2 decision in favor of the no-cash bail provisions found within the law.
State Senator Sue Rezin says that the elimination of cash bail without broad authority given to judges to hold individuals pre-trial is dangerous and jeopardizes public safety.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court is giving counites 60 days to implement the law, which will take effect statewide beginning Monday, Sept. 18. Many counties have expressed concern over the negative impact the law will have on the safety of its residents, as well as the financial impact eliminating cash bail will have on local government budgets. Sen. Rezin says those costs will likely be made up by an increase in property taxes, a decrease in government services, or both.
Since its infamous late-night passage on the final day of the 2021 lame-duck session, the SAFE-T Act has been highly criticized for the lack of input allowed by law enforcement, state’s attorneys, and judges by the Majority Party leaders who forced the legislation through the General Assembly with little-to-no time for public scrutiny.