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Illinois House Republicans make public safety concerns a priority in a new legislative package

State Rep. Patrick Windhorst is pictured on the House floor.
Jerry Nowicki
Capitol News Illinois
State Rep. Patrick Windhorst is pictured on the House floor.

Illinois House republicans have laid out a legislative package they say is aimed at improving public safety, recruiting and retaining police officers and other law enforcement officials, and providing assistance to victims of violent crime.

Representative Patrick Windhorst of Metropolis is chair of the working group. He says there is a concerning trend in Illinois where, since the passage of the SAFE-T Act, criminals are treated better than law-abiding citizens, jeopardizing the safety of communities.

"Illinoisans deserve to know that when a perpetrator commits a crime, they are going to be held accountable. Most certainly, they won't be back on the streets just a few hours later."

Legislation introduced by House Republicans serving on the Truth in Public Safety working group include:

HB 5120- Widens the possible detention net to all felonies and also establishes the burden of proof at a detention hearing to preponderance of the evidence.

HB 5121 - Calls for the revocation of pre-trial release when the defendant is charged with an offense while on release.

HB 5126 - Restores the process for a court to issue a warrant for a defendant’s failure to appear in court.

HB 5131 - Sets up a timeline for the Department of Human Services to remove someone from county jail within 20 days if they have been found unfit to stand trial, and requires reimbursement to the county if the person is held past the 20 days. The bill is aimed at providing necessary mental health services to those individuals who have been found mentally unfit to stand trial.

HB 5133 – Allows for the creation of a county co-responder model to work with social workers to assist victims in need of mental or behavioral health services. The bill would ensure that police officers are responding to emergency calls and that social workers or behavioral health services workers would act as a partner with law enforcement, not a replacement.

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