Senate Criminal Law Committee hears controversial legislation
On March 9, the Senate Criminal Law Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 1722. A key component of this measure is a request by Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson that would impose stiffer sentences for felons convicted of gun crimes, which Supt. Johnson believes would hold repeat gun offenders accountable.
Senate Republican committee members, recognizing the importance of this request, raised concerns about other provisions tacked onto the legislation, such as a provision that would ease penalties for some drug-related crimes including possession of 100 grams or more of cocaine, heroin, or fentanyl. This concern was shared by Supt. Johnson who told the Chicago Sun-Times that “…the drug trade is what drives gang violence in Chicago and lessening the consequences for high level narcotic dealing and possession makes me very uncomfortable.”
Due to these concerns, Senate Republicans voted against the bill in hopes a clean bill will be presented to address these important concerns.