Illinois State Representative Deanne Mazzochi has accused the Democrat majority of not just being soft on crime, but creating state and local policies that allow crime to thrive.
Carjacking, burglaries, and retail thefts are on the rise in her district. Murders, robberies and gang violence are threatening other Chicagoland communities. And, Democrats in Illinois won’t tackle the problem. They are comfortable sitting back while Illinois families endure violence in their neighborhoods with little recourse because Democratic lawmakers have refused to make laws to protect them.
According to Mazzochi, the Democrats in control of the committee tasked with hearing crime prevention legislation have focused on bills dealing with the rights of prisoners, criminal record expungement, and expanded parole, while ignoring a great number of bills targeted at combating crime. Representative Dave Severin, the ranking Republican on the committee hearing criminal justice bills, agrees with Mazzochi’s assessment. He believes the prohibition of new public safety laws coupled with the recent passage of the Safe-T Act is fueling the violence and increased crime rates across the state. Many of the provisions in the Safe-T Act hampers the ability of law enforcement to do their jobs and at the same time it had made it easier for criminals to avoid prosecution, keeping them on the streets doing harm. State Representative Patrick Windhorst, an experienced prosecutor, says law enforcement officials in his district have been vocal about their concerns, especially about ending cash bail that is part of the Safe-T Act. Windhorst filed legislation to repeal the Safe-T Act citing the need to curb rising crime rates, but his legislation was not permitted a public hearing by the Democrat majority. For all but two of the last 37 years, Democrats have held the majority position and thus control the Illinois House of Representatives. They decide what bills are sent to committee and whether or not those bills actually receive a public hearing. In recent years, the new Democrat leadership has found it necessary to flex their muscle in the General Assembly by refusing to let bills combating crime see the light of day. Their reason? Because they can. Time and time again they have cited “majority rule” as the rationale for blocking bills that would keep Illinoisans safe. Just because they can, doesn’t mean they should. Public hearings equal transparency and accountability. So when Democrats prevent legislation from receiving a public hearing they are purposely keeping Illinoisans in the dark. Legislation should go through rigorous debate with input from experts, proponents and opponents. Only after that should the majority play its upper hand, voting to pass or kill a bill. Keeping legislation from public debate is tyranny not leadership. The Democrat majority has gone too far and Illinois residents are paying for it.