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Legislative News
06

January 6, 2021-Last night a criminal justice reform bill (HB163) was amended onto HB163. The bill is more than 600 pages long, is effective immediately upon the Governor's signature and includes, among other things, language that does the following -

•Eliminates Qualified Immunity for police officers, making them personally liable in civil suits.

•Eliminates Officer’s rights to Collectively Bargain, creating a “special class” of public employee rights in Illinois that can only negotiate over wages and benefits!

• No contractual language regarding discipline and discharge procedures for police officers.

• Allows officers to be disciplined based on anonymous and unsubstantiated or unverifiable complaints.

•Mandates that unverified complaints be kept with no time limit no removal and no limits on .

•Substantially increases both initial and ongoing training requirements but does not provide any funding for increased costs and no assurances that the courses will even be offered.

•Mandates the use of body cameras by all departments for every officer but does not include money to pay for cameras.

•Withholds money from any city that does not comply with the requirements of the legislation.

•Eliminates funding for law enforcement agencies•Eliminates Cash Bail while enacting multiple benefits for people convicted of committing crimes.

•Limits use of force, redefines excessive use of force and subjects officers to criminal liability for using of force or for failing to intervene in another officer's use of force.

•Removes prohibitions against obstructing police officers

•Subjects officers to possible criminal charges of Official Misconduct, a class 3 felony, for trivial and incidental issues.

This is not police "reform" or "modernization." This is an attack on unions, collective bargaining, and on public safety.

Should this bill become law - a non-union groundskeeper would have more legal rights and protections than a police officer!

Please take this informations very seriously. House speaker Madigan has already committed publicly to supporting the sponsors' legislative agenda. Contact your Senator and Representative and ask your family and friends to do the same and ask Included are some simple instructions to help you, your friends, your coworkers and your family members in helping to save Illinois from this destructive agenda. This is how -

1. Find your local elected officials by going to the Illinois State Board of Elections. You can get there with this link: https://www.elections.il.gov/.../AddressFinder.aspx...

If you live somewhere other than you work, please consider contacting the elected officials for both locations. You can use your work address on the State Board of Election’s website just like a home address. You can always say “I work in Springfield...” or “I live in Decatur...”

2. Go to www.ILGA.gov to find the contact information for your legislators. Click the “Members” text under the House or the Senate columns to pull up the list and then just click on your legislator’s name. It will list the various contact details for your legislator and you can pick how you want to contact them. You can email them, or call their district office or their Springfield office. If you decide to call, you may have to leave a message on a machine or with staff. Do not worry, and it is not important that the legislator call you back. Just be sure to leave in your message that you need them to vote no on HB 163 or any similar legislation that diminishes your rights and the public's safety.

3. Some advice on being the most effective advocate you can be includes:

a. Be respectful of their time, long calls and long messages are not necessary. Remember, these individuals work for you, so the most important thing is to let them know how they can do the best job for you.

b. Be professional. Do not assume they are against you or supportive of the bill. Let them know what you think and what you want, but do not blame them or accuse them.

c. If they disagree with you there is probably nothing you can do to change their mind. That is ok, but please remember how they handled your concerns when the next election comes around.

d. If they do not respond to you, do not feel ignored. They are getting hundreds of calls and emails. They will read every email and listen to every message.

e. Feel free to include personal or local information. We all care about our community the most, and that is true of legislators. Feel free to share how this would hurt you, your family and your community. Be a neighbor first, a law enforcement officer second and a willing partner third.

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