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Pritzker says SAFE-T Act changes need to be made, but didn’t say what changes he wants

Wednesday, Sep 14, 2022 - Posted by Rich Miller

* My associate Isabel Miller was at today’s Pritzker press conference today and asked the governor if anything needs to be changed in the SAFE-T Act before January 1st and if he wanted any specific changes. His response

Well, let’s just set the record straight with everybody. The SAFE-T Act is designed to keep murderers, domestic abusers, violent criminals in jail. And to address that, the problem of the current system, which allows those people, murderers, domestic abusers, and so on, to buy their way out of jail by just paying bail.

So what we’re addressing the problem that exists today, making sure that we’re also addressing the problem of a single mother who shoplifted diapers for her baby who is put in jail and kept there for six months because she doesn’t have a couple of hundred dollars to pay for bail. So that’s what the SAFE-T Act is about.

Are there changes or adjustments that need to be, of course. And there have been adjustments made and there will continue to be. Laws are not immutable. They are not, you know, there with no change that’s ever made to them. Of course, of course.

And then the press conference ended.

…Adding… House Republican Leader Jim Durkin…

Yesterday, once again, Governor Pritzker claimed that the SAFE-T Act wasn’t a rushed disaster of a law. Today, he admits that his SAFE-T Acts needs a fourth trailer bill but is unable to explain how the law needs to be changed. How can anyone trust this governor when he talks about crime and the SAFE-T Act?

       

34 Comments
  1. - Patricia - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 11:54 am:

    I’m starting to get concerned that Gov Pritzker’s public safety platform is to deny that there is any sort of problem. And I agree that he he might be right on that…but that doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t indirectly respond on the issue. By all accounts Mayor Lightfoot’s and State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s poll numbers are horrible not only because of their public safety policy positions but also because of the perceived lack of action on their part to pro-actively address public safety concerns and stand with law enforcement.


  2. - Steve - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 11:59 am:

    Why any changes so soon ? Even before the law goes into effect? This makes no sense. JB knew what was in the law in he signed it.


  3. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:00 pm:

    First, Isabel is fantastic, glad she’s here for me to read, grateful.

    To the post?

    Welp, here’s the thing;

    If *I* say I have questions or if I would go further and say changes are needed or necessary, it’s worth nothing, and even less to others.

    I start there because governing can’t be something where perfect is the enemy of the good. The reason trailer bills exist or a clarification or clean up bill is run is… perfect can’t be the enemy of the good.

    A governor who signed a bill can be one to use that thinking to a broader discussion or expansion of policy, like..

    “I sign this bill today in hopes that this legislation is just a first step towards a great policy end”

    So, after walking this around the barn a bit… a governor can’t say, after all the backlash *allowed*, and I mean allowed as the positive info on the bill seems to be missing in a greater message (but I digress)… a governor can’t say…

    ===Are there changes or adjustments that need to be, of course. And there have been adjustments made and there will continue to be. Laws are not immutable. They are not, you know, there with no change that’s ever made to them. Of course, of course.===

    … in the context and course of a political lens of microscopic analysis.

    You make this EXACT statement upon signing. You make this statement in a release before signing.

    I can make statements like that because the odds are I’m the only one reading it.

    A governor, ANY governor, can’t allow political narratives to be hijacked to allow the good that won out over the perfect be usurped for a deflection quote, a quote that had more meaning if spoken far earlier.


  4. - Rudy’s teeth - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:04 pm:

    From JB—immutable—a word that does not exist in Candidate Bailey’s lexicon.


  5. - Responsa - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:05 pm:

    ==JB knew what was in the law in he signed it.==

    Perhaps, perhaps not. But It is likely he did not realize how poorly it was going to be received in an election year.


  6. - Blake - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:08 pm:

    After seeing Kim Foxx underperform Biden by 20 points (54% to 74%) in the general election, it should be clear Democrats could help themselves if someone else were in that position, even if it made making State’s Attorney recallable. I don’t mean Tim Butler’s Cook County specific bill, but a statewide bill.


  7. - John Lopez - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:08 pm:

    As stated in comments in a previous article, state Representative Suzanne Ness at a public event in Algonquin last week confirmed Kane County State’s Attorney Jamie Mosser addressing issues she has with SAFE-T Act with officials in Springfield (executive or legislative is unknown).

    Kane County Board voted down going to sales tax referendum in November at the August meeting, in spite of Mosser claiming implementing all of the SAFE-T Act’s components blows a hole in the County Budget.

    Rumors of a SAFE-T Act “trailer bill” being passed during the veto session starting Nov 15 been around for months. Maybe the changes the governor alluded to has to do with the trailer bill?

    Hopefully, all, especially state’s attorneys will have input and see the trailer bill before the November 8 election.

    This is not something to keep hidden from the public until after the election. Let’s hope we all see the SAFE-T Act trailer bill.


  8. - Eyeball - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:09 pm:

    This is one of the reasons why laws are passed with future effective dates.


  9. - Pundent - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:15 pm:

    There’s a political response and a policy response to these issues. And both parties are lacking in different ways. But I tend to favor the Dems positioning a bit more as it’s rooted in attempts to improve the current state of things while the Republican response is more rooted in scare tactics and empty slogans.


  10. - Back to the Future - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:16 pm:

    Agree on Isabel.
    This is not the first time she has raised an issue during a news conference that needed to be raised.


  11. - ;) - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:18 pm:

    So basically he said a whole lot of nothin’


  12. - rtov - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:24 pm:

    The current system has safeguards in place to prevent that single mother from being held in custody for anytime, let alone six months. For instance, under the current law the offense of retail theft is a category B offense, meaning the law presumes a recognizance for the accused. The repeated reliance on hypotheticals and unrealistic anecdotes as justification for this Act should be concerning to everyone. Data and best practices should drive legislation, neither were considered for the Safe-T Act’s rushed bail reform measures.

    With that being said, I am glad to hear that changes are being considered and am hopeful that this is going to make the system more fair for everyone involved - victims of crimes included.


  13. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:29 pm:

    ====I’m starting to get concerned that Gov Pritzker’s public safety platform is to deny that there is any sort of problem.

    What problems are there with the bill specifically? Pre-trial detention changes are simply moving from monetary to risk based release which is an improvement. What are the big problems that you are so concerned with.


  14. - Bruce( no not him) - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:43 pm:

    == JB knew what was in the law==
    He knew what he was told was on the law.
    Doubtful, he or most that voted for it (or against it, for that matter), actually read it.


  15. - Google Is Your Friend - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:45 pm:

    - Patricia - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 11:54 am:

    Are not able to read the post title? I’d suggest getting your eyes checked or taking some reading comprehension classes.


  16. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    For perspective, nearly every single bill filed in every session in ever General Assembly is a trailer bill correcting/changing something from a previous session.


  17. - Touré's Latte - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 12:55 pm:

    “The reason trailer bills exist or a clarification or clean up bill is run is…”

    A perfect setup for a punchline contest.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 1:06 pm:

    ===A perfect setup for a punchline contest.===

    The lines between farce and reality intersect


  19. - Michelle Flaherty - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 1:22 pm:

    Durkin: We need to change the SafeT Act.

    Pritzker: I think there are some changes needed.

    Durkin: Pritzker admits his SafeT Act is a total failure and needs changes.

    And the GOP wonders why they get left out of things.


  20. - Chicagonk - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 1:26 pm:

    Easy three things for Pritzker to propose:
    - Remove “specific” from legislation (revert back to previous standard for assessing threat)
    - Remove the requirement that 48 hours need to pass in order for someone to be in violation of electronic monitoring.
    - Remove the requirement that judges have to reassess every 60 days whether to remove pre-trial restrictions.

    This law is a significant mandate on the court system - Pritzker should that into account and not let this gum up the system.


  21. - Roman - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    Does Pritzker start running ads about Bailey voting to defund the police at some point? If he does, we’ll know the SAFE-T Act attacks are resonating in his polling.


  22. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 1:38 pm:

    ===Remove the requirement that 48 hours need to pass in order for someone to be in violation of electronic monitoring.

    That’s not what the law says. Over 48 hours of violation results in eligibility for another charge, not that they are not in violation of parole or probation

    ” A person charged with or convicted of a felony, or charged with or adjudicated delinquent for an act which, if committed by an adult, would constitute a felony, conditionally released from the supervising authority through an electronic monitoring or home detention program, who knowingly violates a condition of the electronic monitoring or home detention program and remains in violation for at least 48 hours is guilty of a Class 3 felony.”

    Or a lower penalty for lower level crimes in the next paragraph.


  23. - Anonymous 103 - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 1:41 pm:

    == This law is a significant mandate on the court system ==

    Yes, it is. It will require more judges, more public defenders, more court rooms. No one is talking about this. Many disagree with funding the courts with bail, but no one wants to talk about how this is going to take money away from the courts while adding additional responsibilities.


  24. - Nick - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 1:46 pm:

    The commms on this are starting to get a bit messy to put it kindly.

    Pritzker is probably even more glad he’s running against Bailey now.


  25. - Norseman - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 2:09 pm:

    Gee, someone came to the realization that doing things cost money. Yes, more resources are needed in this and most areas of government to effectively serve the people. If that’s the real concern, then don’t gaslight the public about other issues. Of course, the MAGA GOP doesn’t want to discuss funding government. They want to defund government, the heck with the consequences.


  26. - rtov - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 2:13 pm:

    @anonymous 103 - you ain’t lying.


  27. - Anonymous 103 - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 2:24 pm:

    @ Norseman, the MAGA GOP were not the authors of the SAFE-T Act. It was Democrats, but they have not addressed how to pay for the courts’ additional work and decreased revenues. The state only funds about a third of the entire cost of the courts in Illinois. Again, no one is talking about this.


  28. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 2:59 pm:

    —-Many disagree with funding the courts with bail, but no one wants to talk about how this is going to take money away from the courts while adding additional responsibilities.

    Take money away from courts? If the 10 percent processing fee wasn’t necessary why were they charging the full amount?

    County courts may request more money from the counties they are in if they need operating funds, but charging largely poor people to operate the courts is a regressive tax.


  29. - Annonin' - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 3:49 pm:

    Durkie is usually fronting for many lackluster States Attorneys who have been able to use the cover of existing law for the bail/no bail decisions. Now the pressure will be on. Any SAFE-T changes will draw GOPPIE opposition cause they want their ilk to believe the death penalty is still on the books.


  30. - Mr. Morris - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 4:15 pm:

    –Take money away from courts? If the 10 percent processing fee wasn’t necessary why were they charging the full amount?–
    Its more than the 10% Bond Fee that the Circuit Clerk’s charge in regards to bond. Bond is applied to the fines, fees, and restitution before any fee waivers are applied. We are talking hundreds of thousands of dollars in some counties. Requesting money from the various county boards is a good suggestion, but many counties are tax caped under PTELL. If the state is going to make a law that removes revenue to counties then the state better make up the lost revenue.


  31. - rtov - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 4:24 pm:

    Considering the number of fee waivers and free legal services available to those who are destitute, it is hard to agree with your conclusion that the poor are funding the system.


  32. - ArchPundit - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 4:36 pm:

    ===Bond is applied to the fines, fees, and restitution before any fee waivers are applied

    Ah, so bond isn’t about ensuring court appearance. Got it.

    ====it is hard to agree with your conclusion that the poor are funding the system.

    LOL. C’mon. There have been improvements since 2020, but no one could seriously dispute that poor aren’t the bulk of who go through the system.


  33. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 5:21 pm:

    Might consider flipping the script and going on offense:

    “Darren Bailey can’t stop talking about how the number of people killed by guns in Chicago is too high. Unlike Darren Bailey, I don’t think there is an acceptable level of COVID deaths or acceptable level of gun deaths. My goal is to work with local leaders to try to keep everyone safe.

    So I have to wonder, why doesn’t Darren Bailey care about all the cities in Illinois where guns are killing people at a higher rate than Chicago? Why doesn’t Darren Bailey want to talk about the murders that occurred in Highland Park, and think we should move on?

    Unlike Darren Bailey, I care just as much about murders occurring in Rockford, Joliet, Springfield, and Champaign. Unlike Darren Bailey, I realize that the tragedy in Highland Park on July 4 could have happened at a parade in Wheaton or Naperville or Elgin or Batavia.

    And unlike Darren Bailey, I have pushed to increase public safety spending instead of cutting it, and I have supported stronger regulation of assault weapons unlike Darren Bailey, who is giving away guns at campaign fundraisers.”


  34. - WWMD - Wednesday, Sep 14, 22 @ 11:09 pm:

    What Would Madigan Do? First, he would have seriously reviewed this bill and would have understood that this is not an election-year bill, nor it is not ready for prime time.


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