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Senate Democrats: Bail decisions should not be based on ability to pay

bail reformToday, a new law passed by the Senate to base bail decisions on a defendant’s threat to public safety and flight risk rather than their ability to pay bail became law. The Bail Reform Act of 2017, sponsored by State Senator Donne Trotter (D-Chicago), was signed by the governor and goes into effect immediately.

“Pretrial release must not focus on the defendants’ ability to pay,” said Trotter. “This new law allows the courts to look at the threat to the public safety or their risk of failure to appear.”

Senate Bill 2034 grants a number of rights to defendants, including the right to a public defender or attorney at their bail hearing, the right to a new bail hearing, and that any bail set should be non-monetary and that the court should address the risk in the least restrictive way possible.

Collins urges governor to sign automatic voter registration into law

avr presser 060617SPRINGFIELD – State Sen. Jacqueline Collins joined representatives of Common Cause Illinois and numerous other activists, advocates and fellow Springfield lawmakers at a press conference in Chicago yesterday to commemorate the passage of automatic voter registration in Senate Bill 1933, which passed the General Assembly toward the end of the May legislative session.

Collins said the next step is encouraging people to vote.

Senate’s “Trust Act” wins final approval

jjc 053117trustNow question becomes: Can immigrant communities trust Gov. Rauner?

SPRINGFIELD – Legislation designed to combat a surge in anti-immigrant rhetoric since Donald Trump became president cleared the Illinois Senate on Wednesday and next heads to the governor’s desk to become law.

“Police in Illinois have enough responsibilities without also trying to serve as immigration officers. If there’s a warrant and legitimate criminal activity, by all means, we want the police involved. What we don’t want is people targeted because of their appearance or culture,” said Illinois Senate President John J. Cullerton, who sponsored what’s known as the “Trust Act.”

House approves minimum wage increase to $15, Senate ready to vote

minwage 053017Today the Illinois House approved Senate Bill 81 which increases the minimum wage in Illinois. The measure was initiated in the Senate and increases the minimum wage over five years to $15 per hour by January 1, 2022.

Senate President John J. Cullerton statement on House approval of a minimum wage increase:

“The Senate has been waiting a long time for this. I hope that my assurances that this will get a vote in the Senate helped give the House members the courage to do the right thing. The Senate is ready to take this up if the House can get the paperwork over to us.”