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Republican Illinois State Senator Terri Bryant released a statement on Thursday regarding changes made to the SAFE-T Act.
“Today, the Democratic lawmakers of the General Assembly chose to do the bare minimum to address the concerns of Illinoisans about the implications of the SAFE-T Act," the statement read. "This bill does far too little to make the SAFE-T Act a decent law, let alone a good law for the people of Illinois."
“The judges of our state still don’t have the necessary broad discretion to ensure that we keep the public safe. There are still categories of offenses that can’t be held, including burglary. It does not address the unfunded mandates that will cost our counties millions of dollars and force those officials to choose between cutting funding for other priorities or raising taxes," the statement continued.
“At the end of the day, the good components of this bill don’t come close to making up for all of the issues contained in the original law. We could have and should have done more to ensure that the people of Illinois will be safe and have the best possible criminal justice system,” the statement concluded.
House Bill 1095, which recently advanced in the State Senate and awaits the signature of Governor J.B. Pritzker, expanded the number of crimes for which individuals could be denied pretrial release. The standard for pretrial release has also been expanded, with prosecutors now expected to prove that an individual presents a real and present threat to the safety of those in the community based on the specific facts of each case.
The SAFE-T Act has continued to be highly controversial, with it receiving criticism from law enforcement officials, police unions, and multiple Republican state lawmakers. According to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority, the reforms contained within the act would have major impacts on the justice system, affecting pre-arrest diversion, pretrial proceedings, sentencing, and corrections.
Terri Bryant retained her State Senate seat representing District 58 following an unopposed run during the June 28 primary election.