Even as Governor Bruce Rauner announced his first steps toward criminal justice reform Wednesday, a police group says the lack of a state budget is making Illinois a more dangerous place to live.
Rauner touted proposals that would begin to inch toward his goal of reducing Illinois’ prison population by 25 percent over the next decade.
Elsewhere in the Capitol, law enforcement officials warned that the lack of a state budget means crime prevention programs are shutting down.
“I am upset at the governor, " said Tom Weitzel, Police Chief in Riverside, just west of Chicago. He and his colleagues say killing off programs that intervene with delinquent juveniles will result in higher crime rates for years to come. “I’ve written the governor letters. I’ve called him. I met with his staff. I’ve met with my own state representatives. I met with them before I came to this press conference this morning. Is it going anywhere? No," Weitzel said.
Rauner refuses to negotiate on a budget until Democrats make Illinois law more favorable to businesses.