POMONA – 115th District State Representative Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona) was not yet a member of the Illinois House when Democrats in the House and Senate passed a sweeping criminal justice bill aimed at reforming policing in Illinois.
Yet, Jacobs was on the floor of the Bank of Springfield Center that was serving as a makeshift House Floor that morning because he was waiting to be sworn in to the 102nd General Assembly only a few minutes later.
Governor JB Pritzker has held the bill since it passed on January 13, 2021. Today, in a Chicago signing ceremony, Pritzker signed HB 3653. Rep. Jacobs says the governor’s signature means Illinoisans will be less safe and police officers will have a harder time doing their jobs.
“The passage of HB 3653 followed one of the most egregious processes that I’ve ever seen for legislation of this magnitude,” Jacobs said. “The media and public were completely cut out of being able to read the legislation, let alone understand its many provisions.”
Jacobs says the law, made up of hundreds of pages of new regulations, was amended in the dead of night, voted on at 4 a.m. in the Senate, and passed the House just a few hours later.
“The unintended consequences of this sweeping police and crime reform bill are too many to list,” Jacobs said. “I fear particularly that the end of cash bail will make the people of Illinois less safe. Governor Pritzker’s action today means police officers are going to struggle to do their jobs with the new list of demands they will have placed on them. We’re in a ‘blame the police, reward the criminals’ political cycle in this state. I will be working with my colleagues in the House to amend this flawed bill so police can be confident they have the tools necessary to keep the public safe.”