Illinois Republican lawmakers urge Pritzker to veto police reform proposal

Republican lawmakers in Illinois are urging Gov. Pritzker to veto a reform proposal that would end the use of cash bond.

It's a key part of a huge package of reforms now on his desk.

As the previous General Assembly was about to go out of business earlier this month, lawmakers approved a sweeping 750-page proposal.  

Now, the Fraternal Order of Police and Republican lawmakers say it needs to be killed and rewritten.
"This was all rammed together and shoved down in the lame duck session for a vote, the last minute, in the middle of the night, all of these bills together," said Joe Moon, from the Fraternal Order of Police.

Specifically, the police union and top Republican lawmakers object to provisions in HB3653 that would make it easier to discipline and fire law enforcement officers and would expand Cook County's experiment with no-cash bail throughout the state.

They note the accused killers of retired Chicago Fire Department Lt. Dwain Williams were out on a no-cash bond on charges including home invasion, kidnapping and illegally possessing a firearm and stolen vehicle.  

"It's not isolated. I could spend another hour talking about individuals released for crimes they committed which were violent in nature, were put back out on the street and once again, committed violent crimes and even murders," said Rep. Jim Durkin.


Supporters say HB3653 would allow judges to keep those with a history of violence locked up while they await trial on new charges.
"Folks who should be held in our jails are done so based on a dangerousness score," said Rep. Kam Buckner.

Gov. Pritzker said on Thursday he supports many of the reforms in HB3653, but will need up to two months to decide whether to sign it or veto it.