Nikki Budzinski, who helped pass the controversial SAFE-T Act that has been making headlines throughout the country for its threat to public safety, now says more action is needed at the federal level.
“Illinois’s recently passed landmark criminal justice reform legislation is a definitive step in the right direction, with important provisions on bail reform, sentencing guidelines, and policing, including a ban on chokeholds and body camera mandate for officers. However, we need more action at the federal level,” Budzinski states on her website.
Opposed by nearly every law enforcement organization in the state, the SAFE-T Act was pushed through in the middle of the night of a Lame Duck session without a single Republican vote. Among other radical provisions, the legislation eliminates cash bail, providing that criminal suspects will be detained before trial only in the case of forcible felonies that are non-probationary or they are considered a flight risk or a specific danger to someone in the community. Many violent crimes will not qualify under this law.
The Illinois States Attorneys Association echoed opposition from law enforcement saying that the SAFE-T Act will, “put the victims of crime and their families at great risk.” More recently, States Attorneys throughout the 13th Congressional District, including in Sangamon, Madison, and Macon counties have all expressed serious concerns about how the law will impact public safety.
Aside from the criminal aspect of the legislation, the SAFE-T Act diverts funding from police and includes expensive unfunded mandates such as trainings and body cameras that local governments will have to pay for. For example, Kane County is considering their first property tax increase in a decade in part to fill a $3 million hole stemming from new SAFE-T Act mandates.
In stark contrast to Budzinski, 13th Congressional District Candidate Regan Deering stands with law enforcement in her opposition to the legislation and supports a repeal of the SAFE-T Act.
“My opponent claims she supports law enforcement and yet she continues to champion the SAFE-T Act that was opposed by nearly every law enforcement organization in Illinois, including multiple states’ attorneys in our own district,” said Deering. “She also claims that she wants to lower the cost of living and, yet communities are already considering raising taxes to pay for this legislation she helped to pass. Finally, while my opponent says she will work for bipartisan solutions to criminal justice reform, she helped to ram through the SAFE-T Act without a single Republican vote. As your Congresswoman, I will work for policies to defend law-abiding citizens, not raise taxes to pay for more crime.”