Illinois lawmakers introduce tweaks to the SAFE-T Act


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — After months of negotiations, the Democratic majority in Springfield is finally out with its tweaks to the SAFE-T Act.

Democratic State Senator Robert Peters (13th District) filed the 308-page amendment attempting to clarify it.

The most controversial provision of the law is the elimination of cash bail. Critics argue the measure will lead to a “purge” of jails on Jan. 1. Democrats call that fearmongering, but in an effort to avoid confusion, the amendment lays out how the new system will work.

Those in jail on Jan. 1 can file to request a pre-trial hearing, where a judge will make a decision about their release.

The amendment also expands the so-called “detention net.” Second-degree murder and criminal sexual assault are among the felonies that have been added.

Prosecutors must show an individual poses a “real and present threat to the safety of any person or persons or the community, based on the specific articulable facts of the case.”

Also, the language changes how a police officer can respond to a trespassing situation. Some had feared police would no longer be able to arrest trespassing suspects.

It remains to be seen if the changes will garner Republican support, GOP lawmakers campaigned on repealing the entire law.

“There were things that were said during the campaign about the SAFE-T Act that were not true, right? They were playing on people’s fears,” State rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth said. “That was obviously happening. But at the same time there were also clarifications that and clarity that we needed to bring to the bill to ensure that the actual implementation of this law was as we intended.”

Democrats said they have the votes and expect the amendment to pass Thursday.

The list of felonies is below.

  • First-degree murder
  • Second-degree murder
  • Predatory criminal sexual assault of a child
  • Aggravated criminal sexual assault
  • Criminal sexual assault
  • Armed robbery
  • Aggravated robbery
  • Robbery
  • Burglary where there is use of force against another person
  • Residential burglary
  • Home invasion
  • Vehicular invasion
  • Aggravated arson
  • Aggravated kidnaping
  • Kidnaping
  • Aggravated battery results in great bodily harm or permanent disability
  • Aggravated stalking
  • Domestic battery
  • Aggravated discharge of a firearm, machine gun or when silencer used
  • Reckless discharge of a firearm
  • Armed habitual criminal
  • Manufacture, sale or transfer of bullets or shells represented to be armor piercing bullets, dragon’s breath shotgun shells, bolo shells or fletchette shells
  • Unlawful sale or delivery of firearms, on the premises of a school as well
  • Unlawful sale of firearms by liquor license
  • Unlawful purchase of a firearm
  • Gunrunning, firearms trafficking
  • Involuntary servitude, involuntary sexual servitude of a minor
  • Human trafficking
  • Unlawful use or possession of weapons by felons
  • Aggravated unlawful use of a weapon
  • Aggravated possession of a stolen firearm
  • Reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter
  • Residential burglary
  • Child abduction
  • Child endangerment
  • Hate crime
  • Aggravated unlawful restraint
  • Threatening a public official
  • Aggravated battery with a deadly weapon other than by discharge of a firearm
  • Cruel treatment, aggravated cruelty and animal torture
  • Aggravated driving under the influence while operating a school bus, aggravated driving under the influence causing great bodily harm
  • Aggravated driving under the influence after a previous reckless homicide conviction, aggravated driving under the influence leading to death
  • Aggravated driving under the influence that results in bodily harm to a child under 16

Attempted cases, ie – attempted murder, of the above charges are also included.

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