Governor Signs House Bill 3653 Into Law


Published on February 22 2021 5:22 pm
Last Updated on February 22 2021 8:17 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

HB3653 Pritzker

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed House Bill 3653, the Criminal Justice Reform Bill, into law Monday. The overhaul package has been praised by reform advocates and panned by law enforcement groups.

The legislation will abolish cash bail in Illinois beginning in 2023, require police officers statewide to wear body cameras by 2025, eliminate requirements for signing sworn affidavits when filing complaints against officers, and create a system for tracking police misconduct and decertifying officers who commit wrongdoing.

The package has the backing of organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois and advocates for domestic violence victims.

Police unions and leadership organizations, including the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the Illinois Sheriff's Association, have broadly criticized many of the changes.

Local legislators uniformly criticized the Governor's decision to sign the bill into law.

State Senator Darren Bailey of Louisville said, "This is a dangerous new law that will make our communities less safe, it's that simple. I had hoped Governor Pritzker would listen to the voices of people from across this state, including police officers, prosecutors, and everyday people, who urged him to veto this bill."

State Representative Adam Niemerg of Dieterich said he is angry that the Governor the measure into law that mandates body cameras for all of Illinois law enforcement and removes cash bail. Niemerg said, "Out of 102 counties in Illinois, I'm only aware of two states attorneys who say they are for these changes and they are definitely not in my district here in east-central Illinois."

State Senator Jason Plummer of Edwardsville said, "The actions taken by the Governor today have effectively made our communities less safe, defunded local law enforcement, and endangered the safely of our families."

State Representative Blaine Wilhour of Beecher City said, "This legislation will not make anyone safer. It will not inspire the investment and opportunity we desperately need in poor communities. At the end of the day, this legislation was always more about punishing law enforcement. Let's be clear, this is just the beginning. Some of the most egregious parts were taken out to be discussed at a later date."