Windhorst: After Pritzker’s Signature, Work Needed to Fix Flaws in Criminal Justice Reform Law

METROPOLIS – 118th District State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) issued the following statement in response to Governor JB Pritzker’s signing of HB 3653 on Monday. The newly signed law is a massive attempt at police and criminal justice reforms.

“As a member of the Illinois House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee, I was the lead for House Republicans in questioning the sponsor of HB 3653 on the day it passed,” Windhorst said. “I voted no on the bill because there were too many flaws in the bill’s language, the process shut out the public, and the changes in the law will make the public and police officers less safe.

The Senate passed HB 3653 as amended at 5:00 o’clock in the morning. The House passed it six hours later in the waning moments of the 101st General Assembly. Crafting strong public policy requires sufficient time for debate and doing the hard work of bringing all interested stakeholders to the table. That did not happen with this bill.

I disagree strongly with Governor Pritzker’s irresponsible decision to move forward with signing this legislation, even though he knows there are major problems that exist in the law.  Even supporters of the legislation acknowledge that future legislation will be necessary to correct some of the more problematic parts of HB 3653 that were signed into law.

As I will remain a member of the Illinois House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee for the 102nd General Assembly, I will work diligently to make sure the flaws in this newly signed law get corrected.

We must do the difficult work required to fix this law so Illinoisans can be confident that police officers have the tools they need to keep the public safe, and police officers are not hampered in doing their job so that they can continue to protect and serve our communities.”