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Legislative Group Proposes Measures to Address Crime in Illinois

A group of Republican lawmakers has formed a public safety working group to address the crime problem in Illinois.

The House GOP Public Safety Group began meeting in January. The group says the bills fall into three categories, including protecting victims of crime, the real pretrial fairness act, and recruitment and retention of law enforcement officers.

Some of the over 20 measures change parts of the controversial SAFE-T Act, including reinstating cash bail statewide.

During a news conference Wednesday, state Rep. Dan Ugaste, R-Geneva, said for any system to work, cash bail must be part of that equation.

“In our bill, an accused ability to pay would be a factor to be considered,” Ugaste said. “Bail must be the least restricted means to assure public safety and protect victims.”

The legality of cash bail is still being considered by the Illinois Supreme Court after arguments earlier this year.

House Bill 3209 would prevent victims from being forced to testify at pretrial detention hearings.

House Bill 3352 expands the offenses for which an arrested person must provide a DNA sample to include all forceful felonies and aggravated domestic battery.

State Rep. Dennis Tipsword, R-Metamora, a chief deputy for the Woodford County Sheriff’s Department, said Illinois has gotten away from holding those who commit crimes and victimize citizens accountable.

“If we don’t change course now, we may never recover. In fact, I argue the damage already done will take a generation to correct,” Tipsword said. “We have conditioned criminals to believe that there are no consequences for acting out. This must change.”

Source : Advantage