Concern expressed about criminal reform bill

One of the main issues that is expected to be address during the lame-duck session is criminal reform bill.

Many of the events of the past year have caused an outcry to examine our criminal justice system. However, concerns have been raised about the specific provisions in House Bill 163 and their impact on community safety.

Senate Amendment #2 to House Bill 163 does the following:

  • Forces multiple unfunded mandates on police departments with threats of funding cuts if all the mandates are not met. This will result in even less money and more cuts to departments.
  • Prohibits pre-trial detention when an offender poses a danger to the community at-large.
  • Significantly limits offenders being detained, which will pose a significant risk to victims, witnesses to crime and the community at-large.
  • Impedes any law enforcement investigation, which will lead to fewer crimes being solved and no accountability for criminal perpetrators.
  • Severely limits accountability for accomplices to murder by amending the Felony Murder Rule.
  • Removes all due process protections for police officers.

We all know there are police officers whose actions have cast a dark shadow on a very honorable profession. Changes are needed to address those bad actors, who are the exception to the rule.

We should renew our commitment to the police officers who put their lives on the line to serve and protect.

Senate Republicans argue that this proposal is a blatant attack on the law enforcement profession, and it leaves our communities vulnerable to criminal acts and violence.

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