Wednesday morning, the Illinois House voted 60-50 to pass a sweeping police reform measure. Below is a statement from State Representative Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee):
“After months without the General Assembly convening for session, the House remained in session until 4:15 this morning in a rush to push through bills with little time to review and debate, while our constituents were unaware sleeping. Called back at 8 am, we were faced with law enforcement and criminal justice reform bills that were pushed through the Senate in the early morning hours, with new amendments not yet seen by the House. These are bills that fundamentally change policing and how public safety may intervene with those who break the law and cause harm to you and your families.
The original 611-page document was presented just days ago. Now, over 700 pages were dropped in legislators’ laps in the early morning hours with several new amendments with no time to review before taking action. This bill presented far too many changes to the criminal justice system, while law enforcement and others enforcing our laws could not offer their invaluable input. Worse, legislators were cut short on debate to understand the implications of these sweeping changes fully.
Sadly, other important public safety and enforcement groups were not consulted or participated in these considerations, including state’s attorneys and victims’ rights organizations. I had personal discussions with 79th District law enforcement, the state’s attorney, leaders representing minority communities, and countless constituents expressing opposition to this bill.
We can recognize there is room for improvement. However, our police need to be involved to ensure we are making the improvements that will allow our police officers to be effective and keep our communities safe.”