Page 30 - February 2021
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prayer of reducing shootings, shooting victims and murders in the city with what is apparently fewer tools to do so.
“You’re eliminating cash bail and stuff like that, so there’s a lot of people who feel communities are going to be less safe as a result,” observed Dave Sullivan, a former state legislator and lobbyist who represents Lodge 7 in Springfield. “I also think there was some surprise to legislators that the police world was able to push back so strongly and in a unified manner against the worst of the options in there.”
Over the bill
HB3653 became known as the Legislative Black Caucus om- nibus bill that contained many controversial provisions with extensive changes to Illinois criminal justice laws.
Some of these provisions:
• Abolish full-cash bail.
• Make it more difficult for prosecutors to charge a defen-
dant with felony murder.
• Add further requirements for no-knock warrants.
• Give judges the ability to deviate from mandatory min-
imum sentencing requirements.
• Create an anonymous complaint policy.
• Make changes to use of force in making an arrest. Use of
force and duty to intervene definitions are complicated
and conflicting.
• Make police officers subject to enhanced certification
and decertification. The fairness of the process is ques- tionable with decertification determined by an 11-per- son panel (eight appointed by attorney general and three by the governor).
• Have decertification reviewed by the Illinois Law En- forcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB), which will have its own investigators. If officers are de- certified and fail to prevail on administrative review, they are automatically terminated.
• Make use of body cameras mandatory with a phase-in date of Jan. 1, 2022.
• Give suspects, once they are taken into custody, three phone calls, prior to being questioned within an hour.
Additionally, there appears to be no funding for training for frontline officers for any of this. So as the vote in the House was accumulating to the 60-50 tally after the Senate voted to pass 32-23 in the early-morning on the final day of the lame-
duck session, the real-time reactions came fast and furious. State Senator Sue Rezin, who represents the 38th district in the collar counties, posted on Twitter at 4:03 a.m., “This is no way to conduct business. This is no way to pass laws that will completely overhaul our criminal justice system tying the hands of our judges and law enforcement. And this is certainly
no way to keep our communities safe.”
Following the Senate vote, State Senator Jason Plummer,
who represents the 54th District in southern Illinois and is the assistant leader of the Republican Senate Caucus, wrote:
“This measure endangers the safety or our citizens and makes it harder for law enforcement to carry out their jobs. It’s extreme and inexcusable. While I wish I could say that I am shocked and dismayed that my Democratic colleagues would think this is how reform proposals should be handled in this chamber. I know better. This is business as usual to push bad and dangerous legislation in the 11th hour without adequate time to fully vet and understand the consequences of this pro- posal.”
There was a glass half full after everything that transpired. Several legislators praised the law enforcement community for getting enough Assembly members to realize the need to scrub the initial version of the bill to:
• Enable retaining full collective bargaining rights.
• Allow challenging discipline through arbitration.
• Retain qualified immunity and state law tort immunity.
• Require employers to provide training.
“If you take the intensity of the topic away and look at it from just negotiating a bill on widgets, we got the worst parts of the bill that we found completely unacceptable out of there,” Sul- livan assessed. “We did that, honestly, with a lot of Democratic allies and the rest of the labor movement stood up for us, too. From negotiating the bill just on widgets, it was a pretty good win.”
State Senator Bill Cunningham, whose 18th District in- cludes Mount Greenwood and Beverly where many Lodge 7 members live, confirmed that there was no way the initial it- eration of the bill, with its provisions on collective bargaining and qualified immunity, would have ever passed. And while he noted the impact of the original sponsors listening to the criticism and walking back those provisions, he recognized the sting of HB3653 was more to push a political agenda than straight up governing.

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