Assistant House Republican Leader Haas, Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe, and Kankakee County Sheriff Michael Downey React to Illinois Supreme Court Decision on Ending Cash Bail

KANKAKEE – In reaction to the Illinois Supreme Court decision ruling that ending cash bail in Illinois is constitutional, House Assistant Republican Leader Jackie Haas (R-Kankakee) released the following statement:

“Less than two hours before we began an entirely new General Assembly, Illinois Democrats rammed through one of the worst criminal justice reform packages that was promptly signed into law by the Governor. Even Democratic State’s Attorneys sued because of mounting public safety concerns introduced because of this act. Yet today, the Illinois Supreme Court has declared this constitutional, despite the facts that Illinois has one of the highest murder rates in the country, costs have risen for taxpayers, and our police forces are demoralized. This is a deeply upsetting day for our state and communities.”

Kankakee County State’s Attorney Jim Rowe released the following statement in response as well:

“A few moments ago the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the Safe-T Act is constitutional and will take effect on September 18, 2023. While this ruling is disappointing and the Act terribly detrimental to public safety, we must abide by the decision and will continue to do our best to serve the people of Kankakee County.

“Despite the defeat, I could not be more proud of all who fought the good fight. The people of Illinois deserve better than bail reform that is passed under cover of darkness at 4am when all the state was sleeping; they deserve to have a voice in any constitutional amendments through the power of their vote; and they deserve to be governed by a government of, for and by the people—not by legislative or gubernatorial fiat. That was the essence of our lawsuit and we stand for those principles still today.”

Additionally, Kankakee County Sheriff Michael Downey released the following remarks:

“While extremely disappointed but not surprised that the opinion was down party lines, rest assured that the Sheriff’s Office will continue to work hard to keep our community safe. This opinion will embolden criminals even more which is what our Governor seems to want.”