No deal yet on ‘SAFE-T’ Act as Veto Session week one wraps
No progress was made on the SAFE-T Act last week as lawmakers returned to Springfield as a part of the regularly scheduled Fall Veto Session. Along with the controversial SAFE-T Act, little to no action was taken on other issues during the two of the three regularly scheduled days as Thursday was cancelled.
Several news outlets this week reported that it’s unlikely Illinois will see much of any substantial changes to the new criminal justice law, known as the SAFE-T Act, despite Republicans, some Democrats, and 100 of the 102 State’s Attorneys calling for necessary changes in order to protect public safety. Any amendments to the law will likely be “technical” in nature.
Many provisions of the SAFE-T Act, including the controversial Pre-Trial Fairness Act, which abolishes cash bail, are set to take effect January 1.
Lawmakers will come back together for the final week of Veto Session on November 29 – December 1, following the Thanksgiving holiday.
Prisoner Review Board members appear before the Legislative Audit Commission
Members of the Illinois Prisoner Review Board (PRB) including Chairwoman Edith Crigler appeared before the Legislative Audit Commission last Tuesday for the November meeting to review the Fiscal Year 2019 and 2020 audit of the PRB.
In that audit, 17 findings and recommendations were made that would make the Board in compliance with state law. However, five of the 17 findings have been recommended to the Board in a previous audit. According to the Auditor Generals website, audits for the PRB occur every two years.
The most recent audit shows inadequate control and weaknesses in several areas of the board’s operations. It also recommends in finding #8, “the Board work with the Governor’s Office to fill the vacancy and to make appointments to address the expired terms.”
This past Spring, the Prisoner Review Board fell below a quorum after nominations were rejected by the Senate following outcry by Senate Republicans of Governor JB Pritzker’s shady tactic of withdrawing appointments and then reappointing controversial nominees to the Board. After pressure mounted to take up these appointments in the Senate, several Democrats joined Senate Republicans in voting down many of the debated appointments.
New legislation unveiled to combat ongoing fentanyl epidemic
In their ongoing desire to combat the fentanyl epidemic that is running rampant throughout the state and nation, State Senators Sally Turner and Sue Rezin held a press conference at the State Capitol last Tuesday to unveil legislation that creates two new offenses and penalties for individuals who intentionally sell scheduled drugs with fentanyl or use electronic communication devices to sell fentanyl.
Senate Bill 4221 would amend the manufacture and delivery offense within the Illinois Controlled Substances Act to create a new Class X felony requiring nine to 40 years in prison for unlawfully selling or dispensing any scheduled drug, like Adderall or Vicodin, that contains a detectable amount of fentanyl.
Senator Terri Bryant says as death numbers in relation to fentanyl continue to rise, it’s important the General Assembly take action and hold these individuals responsible to the highest degree.
Additionally, SB 4221 would expand the controlled substance trafficking offense to create a new Class 1 felony, which would come with a fine up to $100K for anyone using an electronic communications device in the furtherance of controlled substance trafficking involving a substance containing any amount of fentanyl.
Operation Rising Spirit
The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA) launched their 2022 “Operation Rising Spirit” campaign last week to encourage service organizations, schools, communities, and individuals to write letters of appreciation and support to veterans residing at the state veterans’ homes.
There is a total of five state-run veterans’ homes throughout the state that serve residents. The five veterans’ homes are located in Anna, Chicago, LaSalle, Manteno, and Quincy.
To participate in Operation Rising Spirit, notes can be sent directly to the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs, so they can disseminate them equally between the homes. Letters can be mailed to:
The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs
833 South Spring Street
P.O. Box 19432
Springfield, IL 62794-9432
Additionally, notes may be sent directly through the IDVA website.
Turkey tips to have a safe cooking holiday
The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and the United States Fire Administration is offering tips for a safe holiday dinner.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, cooking fires happen most often on Thanksgiving, and each year from 2017 to 2019, an estimated average of 2,300 residential building fires were reported to fire departments across the country on Thanksgiving Day.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when preparing food, not just during the holiday season but all year.
- Never leave food that you are frying, boiling, grilling, or broiling unattended! If you leave the kitchen, even for a short amount of time, turn off the stove.
- Frying a turkey has become more popular in recent years.
- Make sure to not overfill oil in the fryer. Fill the pot you plan to use to fry the turkey with water and place the turkey in. This will help to determine how much oil is needed without causing oil to spill out when you are ready to fry, which could lead to a fire.
- Use the turkey fryer outdoors ONLY!
- Make sure the turkey is completely thawed before frying.
- Use long cooking gloves that protect hands and arms when you handle the pot!
- Create a “Kid Free Zone” of at least three feet around the stove or anywhere you are preparing hot food or drinks.
- Keep the area around the stove clear of towels, papers, potholders, or anything that can burn.
- Smother small flames in a pan by sliding a lid over the pan. Turn off the burner and leave the lid over the pan while it cools.
- If you have any doubt about fighting a small fire, just get out! Call 9-1-1 or your emergency number from outside the home.
Sen. Bryant would like to wish you and your family a very safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday.