Capitol Report from Senator Craig Wilcox

Senate Republicans Warn, “This is How you Steal an Election,” as Democrats Pass Drastic Change to Election Law

On May 2 Republican members of the Senate and House stood in defiance of a controversial new law that will drastically change the state’s election laws in the middle of the 2024 election cycle. Senate Bill 2412, among other things, favors entrenched incumbents and reduces competition at the ballot box.

The bill was hastily filed just hours before a vote in the House on May 1. It makes significant changes to the rules for this year’s fall election and all elections that follow. Most notably, it ends the slating process commonly used in districts throughout the state, thus eliminating challengers entrenched incumbents would face in November. 

For prospective candidates who have already spent more than a month gathering signatures and rearranging their lives, their family’s lives, and their jobs to run for office, it could mean the end of the road. 

My Republican colleagues and I believe the passage of SB 2412 a blatant power grab by Illinois Democrats afraid of competition for their incumbents in the general election and characterize the bill as an attempt to change the rules midgame by Democrat lawmakers prioritizing control of the election process over the rights of Illinoisians to have free and fair elections. It’s no wonder people don’t trust their government.

Rather than upholding the integrity of Illinois’ election process, Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the bill into law just hours after it cleared both chambers, admitting to reporters he hadn’t yet reviewed the proposal. 

 Fallen Officers Remembered in Springfield

Officers who gave their lives in the line of duty were honored at the annual Police Officer Memorial Ceremony on May 2nd at the State Capitol complex in Springfield.

Joined by their loved ones and colleagues from various law enforcement agencies statewide, attendees gather annually to recognize the sacrifices made by those who serve and protect and pay tribute to fallen heroes killed in the line of duty.

This year’s honorees include Chicago Police Officer Andres Mauricio Vasquez Lasso, Chicago Police Officer Aréanah Makayla Preston, Cicero Police Officer John Francis Kane, Montgomery County Sheriff Ray Boston, Sangamon County Deputy Sheriff Andrew H. Sloan, and Chicago Police Detective Todd C. Gillerlain.

It was an honor to be there to pay respect to the families of the fallen and to talk with police officers who traveled to Springfield for the ceremony.

Legislation Introduced to Increase Penalties for Fleeing and Strengthen Detention Standards for Domestic Abusers

In response to the growing number of dangerous incidents involving suspects fleeing from police and endangering motorists, I am co-sponsoring new legislation designed to hold suspects accountable in these situations. 

Senate Bill 1807 proposes stricter penalties for those who flee and elude authorities, because today, fleeing and eluding the police is only a Class A misdemeanor. 

Under the proposal, fleeing and eluding would now be classified as a Class 4 felony, making it clear that offenders would be held accountable for their actions.

Republicans are also finalizing legislation that would change the presumption on domestic violence cases with bodily injury to a presumption to detain, sending an unequivocal message that the State of Illinois will hold violent domestic abusers accountable and prevent victims, primarily women and children, from retaliation and further harm.

Lawmakers hope the proposed legislation will receive fair consideration before the General Assembly’s adjournment, which is currently scheduled for May 24th. 

Craig Wilcox

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