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SAFE-T Act Updates, Capital Funding Showcase, Events

In This Issue:

  • SAFE-T Act Updates

  • Capital Funding Showcase

  • Purse Drive for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

  • Citizens Utility Board, Part 2

  • Veterans Day Letters

  • Coffee & Conversation

 

Dear Friends, With so many events taking place and issues coming to the fore in recent weeks, this newsletter will be a bit denser than usual. I’ve received a number of inquiries about the SAFE-T Act, so this newsletter will provide more depth on just what the act entails, as well as how I’m making sure our community and local law enforcement have a seat at the negotiating table in shaping changes and clarifications to the legislation. It’s also important to provide transparency on the dollars coming back into the 41st District to support capital projects in our community. I wanted to share with you the organizations and projects that will be supported through appropriations requests that I made during the budget process. Meanwhile, we continue to host a number of events for the community, such as a purse drive for domestic violence awareness month, in partnership with State Senator Laura Ellman. As colder weather has hit, many constituents have also contacted us about their home heating bills. We’re working with the Citizens Utility Board to provide residents with personalized assessments of their utility bills, and you can find more details below. As always, please never hesitate to contact me if I or my office can be of service. Sincerely, Janet

 

SAFE-T Act Updates In recent weeks, there’s been much written and said about the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today (SAFE-T) Act, so I want to make sure residents in our district have an overview of the Act as well as actions we’re taking to address concerns around certain of its components. While I was not in office when the SAFE-T Act passed, I have worked since then to make sure our local law enforcement has been represented at negotiations to update and clarify the act. General Overview The SAFE-T Act passed during the previous General Assembly and includes multiple parts. For example, it includes requirements for the use of body cameras and de-escalation training. It also has provisions for the use of co-responders (like social workers), particularly for responses to mental health emergencies. What’s been striking to me as I’ve worked with our local law enforcement officials is how many of these practices have already long been in place in our community. Especially as I’ve learned more about other municipalities, it’s clear that we’re incredibly lucky to have the resources that have put our district at the forefront of community safety best practices. Bringing the rest of the state to this same level is something that’s good for the state as whole, and it’s also good for our community, since we work, visit, and have loved ones in these other areas. Pre-Trial Detention Overview The SAFE-T Act also includes a section on pre-trial detention. To be clear: This has no effect on those who have been convicted of a crime—it only pertains to those awaiting trial. The intent of this section is to move to a system based on a person’s risk of flight or public safety rather than a system based on wealth. Research has shown that the vast majority of people released from custody pre-trial make all of their court dates, with or without bail; however, even a few days spent in jail pre-trial—even if a person is not convicted—results in higher likelihoods of job loss and housing insecurity. Under current law, people charged with murder, rape, or sexual assault are let out when they pay bail. When the new law takes effect, they will not be able to get out on bail no matter how much money they have if they pose a danger to the community. This risk-based system has been in place at the Federal level since the Regan administration in 1984 and is also currently used in our military courts. These provisions of the SAFE-T Act give judges more discretion and authority to detain people on a pre-trial basis than what they have today. Updates and Clarifications These changes will make for a fairer and safer system. But as with all major changes, implementation is complicated. We’re currently in negotiations over the pre-trial portion of the legislation. As DuPage State’s Attorney Robert Berlin recently said, “It is very fixable, where we can still eliminate cash bail but make sure the right people are in custody and everybody else who's not a danger gets out.” To that end, these are some of the major areas of change that we’re currently working through:

  • Providing guidance on the timing and transition to the new system. The original act was silent on how to transition from one system to another. While courts in our area have been preparing for this transition for the past year, other counties have expressed the need for more time. One possibility is a multi-month phase-in period.

  • Expanding the list of detainable offenses. The drafters of the original SAFE-T Act legislation contend that the language already allows law enforcement and courts to detain any person deemed a flight or safety risk. (This explainer thread does a good job going into that specific bill language.) Nevertheless, in my conversations with law enforcement, it’s clear that from a practical day-to-day standpoint, we need to expand the list of detainable offenses so that officers have more legal backing for their decisions and actions.

  • Clearly solidifying law enforcement’s ability to remove and process trespassers. Again, where the bill’s authors may say that officers continue to have the ability to remove and arrest trespassers, my discussions with law enforcement and how they implement the law on a day-to-day basis show that we need to make this more clear in the legislation.

I continue to work with our local law enforcement and will keep our district updated on negotiations.



Capital Funding Showcase

During each annual budget process, I am charged with determining and advocating for appropriations that are needed for our district’s capital improvement projects. Our office handles this in a systematic manner by tracking and prioritizing all capital requests. I submitted $3.4 million in funding requests, which were included and passed with the fiscal year 2022 and fiscal year 2023 budgets.

The organizations included in the 41st District requests are now in various stages of the capital funding process and working with the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The graphic below maps the funded projects, and I look forward to updating the community on progress of those projects as they unfold.



Purse Drive for Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Join Rep. Yang Rohr and Senator Laura Ellman's offices to provide purses stuffed with notes of encouragement and items of need. We are teaming up with Metropolitan Family Services and LovePurse through our October Drive for Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

You can drop off purses at various locations during the month of October:

  • Naperville Public Library - Nichols Library, 200 W Jefferson Ave., Naperville, IL 60540

  • Naperville Public Library - 95th Street, 3015 Cedar Glade Drive, Naperville, IL 60564

  • Naperville Public Library - Naper Boulevard, 2035 S Naper Blvd, Naperville, IL 60565

  • Wheaton Public Library - 225 N. Cross St., Wheaton, IL 60187

  • The Collection - 4724 Main St., Lisle, IL 60532

Please include a note of inspiration with your donated purse. Ideas of other items to include:

  • Feminine products, Deodorant, Soap, Body lotion, Hand sanitizer

  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Mouthwash (no alcohol), Floss

  • Shower slippers, Socks

  • Face mask

  • Comb, Brush

  • Full size shampoo, Conditioner

  • Chocolates, Mints

  • Notepad, Pen



Citizens Utility Board, Part 2

The Citizens Utility Board was created by the Illinois General Assembly in 1983 with a mission to represent the interests of residential utility customers across the state. The experts from the Citizens Utility Board will be joining us for a bill clinic where you will get individualized recommendations on how to lower your gas, phone, cable, and internet bills.

We hostedCUB with a virtual meeting at the beginning of the month, so if you missed hearing all that they have to offer, you can watch Part 1 in our series on our YouTube Channel.


What: CUB Bill Clinic

When: Wednesday, October 26 at 7:00 pm

Where: Nichols Library



Veterans Day Letters

Join us as we write and collect letters sharing our heartfelt thanks to senior veterans in District 41.


What: Letters for Veterans Day

When: Return to our office before November 4

Where: District 41 Office, 475 River Bend Rd., Suite 500, Naperville, IL 60540



Coffee & Conversation

Join us on the last Saturday of each month to chat about the local and statewide issues that matter to you. We rotate locations throughout the district, and this month we'll be at our district office (note: Suite 500 is not in the main building, you can follow the sidewalk to the right of the building as we are located in the back of the complex).


What: Coffee & Conversation with me and your neighbors

When: Saturday, October 29, 2022 from 9:00 to 10:00 am

Where: District 41 Office, 475 River Bend Rd., Suite 500, Naperville, IL 60540


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