Friess condemns half-measures on crime

SPRINGFIELD… In January 2021, David Friess was in Springfield to be sworn in as the newly elected Representative of the 116th District. At that time, 101st General Assembly rammed through sweeping criminal justice reform legislation known as the SAFE-T Act. The Democrat majority had voted for the legislation with little to no debate, no knowledge of what was in the bill, or any understanding of the consequences of the legislation. Governor Pritzker signed the bill, and law enforcement and the citizens of Illinois saw a rise in violent crime.

“The SAFE-T Act, or the alleged criminal justice reform bill, was criticized immediately by House Republicans,” said Friess. “We warned the Democrats the passage of the Act would lead to a rise in crime and a reduction in public safety. The original legislation was so bad the Democrats were forced to file two trailer bills before the SAFE-T even went into effect.” 

On Tuesday, April 5th, in an attempt to now curry favor with their constituents and law enforcement, the Democrats pushed through numerous bills, including HB1568, which they view as pro-law enforcement and pro-public safety. HB1568 lowers the retirement age for State Police from 60 to 55. Rep. Friess stated he is supportive of law enforcement, but the bill is financially irresponsible.

“The sponsor represented that HB 1568 would cost the taxpayers an additional $7M per year in pension liability; however, the cost is much higher and may be as much as $250 million per year. At a time when Illinois pensions are grossly underfunded, I could not support putting an additional burden on the Illinois taxpayer,” concluded Friess.

Friess believes that to restore the public’s trust and drive down crime in Illinois, the SAFE-T Act must be fully repealed.