Rich Miller

Rich Miller

Pritzker takes ‘baby steps’ on SAFE-T Act

Spread the love

By Rich Miller

“If we didn’t pass something, we wouldn’t have gotten anything from law enforcement. We wouldn’t have gotten a serious conversation,” claimed Rep. La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) recently about why the SAFE-T Act was originally written and passed the way it was.

Rep. Ford was speaking about the cash bail provisions within the SAFE-T Act during a public event in suburban Forest Park, according to the Forest Park Review.

Lots of folks on the other side of the negotiations were taking a hard “No” position, so a decision was essentially made to jam the bill through in order to eventually force the other side to the bargaining table.

The cash bail provision is the most discussed aspect of the law. But the original legislation also prevented police officers from using their body cam footage to write reports. The provision wasn’t designed to be permanent, but was specifically inserted to make the other side adopt a good faith position at the bargaining table. It worked, and the provision was removed in a subsequent trailer bill.

RichMiller 1

Rich Miller

The difference between these two topics, of course, is that the end of cash bail has caused big public relations headaches for the Democratic Party in the lead-up to the general election, as state’s attorneys, sheriffs, police chiefs and others have denounced the law in a way that has put the majority party on the defensive. But, the Democrats have such large supermajorities with a new and more favorable legislative district map that they apparently believed they could assume the risk.

Rep. La Ford and others have said privately and publicly that some components of the law will have to be changed. But they are sticking with the overall concepts. And with less than three months before the elimination of cash bail and other provisions of the law take effect, maybe the gambit will work. But it hasn’t come without political trouble for people like Gov. JB Pritzker.

I saw Gov. Pritzker at an event not long after he refused to answer a question from my associate, Isabel Miller, about what specific changes he would like to make to the SAFE-T Act. I warned him that, since he agreed the law needed to be changed, Isabel’s question wasn’t going away.

Well, the governor dodged the same question again and again during and after last week’s televised gubernatorial debate, saying only that he wants unspecified “clarifications” to the law.

The governor likely didn’t want to insult the Black Caucus or have any sort of negative impact on the trailer bill discussions by publicly negotiating against his own side. He probably also didn’t want to cave into pressure from disingenuous actors and instead wanted to tough it out through the election and then deal with the issue in the post-election veto session.

Even so, campaigns ought to be about the exchange of ideas and the governor’s refusal to engage deserved to be called out.

Besides, this shouldn’t be that difficult. For example, some are making wild claims about the law’s trespassing language. Hinsdale’s Village President Tom Cauley recently said, according to the Hinsdale Patch, “I guarantee you that we’re going to find ourselves with people just camped out in parks, and we cannot ask them to leave. They may be in your backyard or in your shed living there.”

Nonsense.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s Implementation Task Force has officially advised law enforcement that they “do have discretion to remove the person from the location of the alleged criminal activity, and then cite and release the person from another location.” Repeated refusals to comply could then easily be interpreted as being a threat, which would allow an arrest.

It just seems to me that tightening up the law’s language to fully reflect the task force’s guidance and resulting inference about arrests would be a no-brainer response to the question about changes he wants to make.

The list of forcible felonies which trigger provisions to hold people without bail could and should also be expanded, which even some proponents are saying behind the scenes.

And so, not long after I challenged Pritzker in my subscriber newsletter to step up, he did finally tell reporters on Friday that he thought former prosecutor state Sen. Scott Bennett’s (D-Champaign) proposed changes were worth a look, but stopped short of endorsing any specifics in the Downstate Democrat’s bill.

Baby steps, I guess.

Rich Miller also publishes Capitol Fax, a daily political newsletter, and CapitolFax.com.

Local News

CRRNH_CosmoPhotoMDWArmory_032724

Pols want 63rd St. armory for new police HQ

Spread the love

Spread the love. Porfirio, Guerrero-Cuellar push plan in Springfield . By Tim Hadac Any plans the Chicago Department of Aviation may have had for the vacant Army National Guard Midway Armory, 5400 W. 63rd St., may be grounded, at least for now. Several elected officials are eyeing the parcel as the headquarters of a new…

Stacy Cygan. --Supplied photo

Her back against the wall, Stacy needs help

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Tim Hadac Editor Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound (708)-496-0265 . Clearing and Garfield Ridge have earned a reputation as a place where people look out for each other—and that sometimes means caring for each other in times of need. Today, I want to talk about one such person, who sure could use…

CRRNH_OLS3rdGradersWinPizzaParty_042424

It’s (pizza) party time at OLS

Spread the love

Spread the love. Third graders at Our Lady of the Snows School break into cheers as they learn they’ve won a pizza party for selling more raffle booklets than any other class. The recent Grand Raffle fundraiser brought in about $6,000. Parents looking for a grade school for their sons and daughters for 2024-25 are…

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart

Dart wants free mental health care for first responders

Spread the love

Spread the love. From staff reports The Illinois Senate has passed legislation proposed by Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart that eliminates out-of-pocket expenses for first responders seeking mental health treatment. “We ask first responders to be constantly exposed to traumatic and dangerous situations to protect us,” Dart said. “This legislation is a solid step…

Members of the Green Team, Pat Stifter, Tara Rosenwinkeo, Gareth Blakesley, Lake Katherine's Director & Chief Naturalist; and Beth Enriquez welcome volunteers for Palos Heights' Clean Up Day on April 13. (Photos by Kelly White)

Volunteers give Palos Heights a spring cleaning

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Palos Heights works hard to keep its city beautiful. Gathering residents together for a day of cleaning and fun was the Palos Heights Green Team with a Clean Up Day on April 13. “This event invited everyone in our community to do their part in combating pollution by having a…

A security-camera image of the man wanted for the crimes. --Supplied photo

Hunt man who tried to rob Chase Bank

Spread the love

Spread the love. FBI looking for tips from public .  From staff reports FBI officials are appealing to the public for help in finding a man who attempted to rob a Southwest Side bank branch. The bandit tried to rob the Chase Bank branch at 5687 S. Archer (just west of Laramie) at about 11…

Congressman Sean Casten, speaking at a Town Hall meeting at Moraine Valley Community College.
(Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Casten lauds Biden for ‘clean energy’ move

Spread the love

Spread the love. From staff reports A move designed to spur the responsible development of clean energy on America’s public lands was recently lauded by U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-6th). The congressman, co-chairman of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) Clean Energy Deployment Task Force, joined by co-chairman Mike Levin (D-Calif.), released a…

Giannoulias

E-Notary makes things easier, Giannoulias says

Spread the love

Spread the love. From staff reports Illinois residents will no longer have to notarize documents in person under a new Electronic-Notary system administered by Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias’ office. Electronic Notarization, or “E-Notary,” will radically change the way people and use notary services, Giannoulias predicted. Without leaving the home or office, an individual or…

Fire Bureau Chief David Wheeler (from left), Mayor Terry Vorderer and Police Chief Daniel Vittorio congratulate the winners of the 2023 Fire and Safety Coloring Book Contest during the April 9 Oak Lawn Village Board meeting. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn honor Fire and Public Safety Contest winners

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle The Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce presented awards to the winners of the 2023 Fire and Public Safety Coloring Book Contest at the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on April 9. Fire Bureau Chief David Wheeler and Police Chief Daniel Vittoro were on hand to present the plaques, along with Oak…

Abdelnasser Rashid

Rashid scolds TV news orgs on climate change

Spread the love

Spread the love. From staff reports State Rep. Abdelnasser Rashid (D-21st) recently scolded major news organizations for what he called a lack of attention to climate change. “Last year was marked by alarming climate extremes, from record-breaking heat waves to devastating floods, droughts and wildfires,” Rashid wrote earlier this month in a letter to his…

Neighbors

CRRNH_CosmoPhotoMDWArmory_032724

Pols want 63rd St. armory for new police HQ

Spread the love

Spread the love. Porfirio, Guerrero-Cuellar push plan in Springfield . By Tim Hadac Any plans the Chicago Department of Aviation may have had for the vacant Army National Guard Midway Armory, 5400 W. 63rd St., may be grounded, at least for now. Several elected officials are eyeing the parcel as the headquarters of a new…

Stacy Cygan. --Supplied photo

Her back against the wall, Stacy needs help

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Tim Hadac Editor Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound (708)-496-0265 . Clearing and Garfield Ridge have earned a reputation as a place where people look out for each other—and that sometimes means caring for each other in times of need. Today, I want to talk about one such person, who sure could use…

CRRNH_OLS3rdGradersWinPizzaParty_042424

It’s (pizza) party time at OLS

Spread the love

Spread the love. Third graders at Our Lady of the Snows School break into cheers as they learn they’ve won a pizza party for selling more raffle booklets than any other class. The recent Grand Raffle fundraiser brought in about $6,000. Parents looking for a grade school for their sons and daughters for 2024-25 are…

Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart

Dart wants free mental health care for first responders

Spread the love

Spread the love. From staff reports The Illinois Senate has passed legislation proposed by Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart that eliminates out-of-pocket expenses for first responders seeking mental health treatment. “We ask first responders to be constantly exposed to traumatic and dangerous situations to protect us,” Dart said. “This legislation is a solid step…

Members of the Green Team, Pat Stifter, Tara Rosenwinkeo, Gareth Blakesley, Lake Katherine's Director & Chief Naturalist; and Beth Enriquez welcome volunteers for Palos Heights' Clean Up Day on April 13. (Photos by Kelly White)

Volunteers give Palos Heights a spring cleaning

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Kelly White Palos Heights works hard to keep its city beautiful. Gathering residents together for a day of cleaning and fun was the Palos Heights Green Team with a Clean Up Day on April 13. “This event invited everyone in our community to do their part in combating pollution by having a…

A security-camera image of the man wanted for the crimes. --Supplied photo

Hunt man who tried to rob Chase Bank

Spread the love

Spread the love. FBI looking for tips from public .  From staff reports FBI officials are appealing to the public for help in finding a man who attempted to rob a Southwest Side bank branch. The bandit tried to rob the Chase Bank branch at 5687 S. Archer (just west of Laramie) at about 11…

Congressman Sean Casten, speaking at a Town Hall meeting at Moraine Valley Community College.
(Photos by Jeff Vorva)

Casten lauds Biden for ‘clean energy’ move

Spread the love

Spread the love. From staff reports A move designed to spur the responsible development of clean energy on America’s public lands was recently lauded by U.S. Rep. Sean Casten (D-6th). The congressman, co-chairman of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) Clean Energy Deployment Task Force, joined by co-chairman Mike Levin (D-Calif.), released a…

Giannoulias

E-Notary makes things easier, Giannoulias says

Spread the love

Spread the love. From staff reports Illinois residents will no longer have to notarize documents in person under a new Electronic-Notary system administered by Secretary of State Alexi Giannoulias’ office. Electronic Notarization, or “E-Notary,” will radically change the way people and use notary services, Giannoulias predicted. Without leaving the home or office, an individual or…

Fire Bureau Chief David Wheeler (from left), Mayor Terry Vorderer and Police Chief Daniel Vittorio congratulate the winners of the 2023 Fire and Safety Coloring Book Contest during the April 9 Oak Lawn Village Board meeting. (Photo by Joe Boyle)

Oak Lawn honor Fire and Public Safety Contest winners

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Joe Boyle The Oak Lawn Chamber of Commerce presented awards to the winners of the 2023 Fire and Public Safety Coloring Book Contest at the Oak Lawn Village Board meeting on April 9. Fire Bureau Chief David Wheeler and Police Chief Daniel Vittoro were on hand to present the plaques, along with Oak…

Abdelnasser Rashid

Rashid scolds TV news orgs on climate change

Spread the love

Spread the love. From staff reports State Rep. Abdelnasser Rashid (D-21st) recently scolded major news organizations for what he called a lack of attention to climate change. “Last year was marked by alarming climate extremes, from record-breaking heat waves to devastating floods, droughts and wildfires,” Rashid wrote earlier this month in a letter to his…