SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois House Republican caucus has launched a new platform called “Reimagine Illinois.”
The four pillars of the platform to improve state government include addressing corruption, fiscal responsibility, creating jobs, and ensuring public safety.
“Illinois used to be a powerhouse. We were not only a powerhouse in the Midwest, but in the entire nation,” said Rep. Mike Murphy. “We have lost our way. It is time to refind our way and that will come with Reimagine Illinois.”
The group did not hide the fact that it opposed new justice laws brought forth by the Illinois Black Caucus which include police reforms. State Rep. Avery Bourne said the laws are prompting would-be police officers to consider another profession or leave the state.
“We have to make the profession one where good people want to go in and they are able to do their job and protect the public without these problematic bills that have passed recently,” Bourne said.
House Republican leader Jim Durkin added the justice reform bill that became law is a mess and an inoperable disaster for the practitioners, judges and anyone else involved.
“It vilifies police officers,” Durkin said. “It creates new standards and duties upon law enforcement officers that were created for no other reason than to trip up law enforcement officers.”
The bill signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in February among other things, creates a statewide certification program for police officers, requires officers to wear body cameras, and ends cash bail in the state.
A coalition comprised of the Illinois Sheriff’s Association, the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, and state and local branches of the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police has also voiced opposition to the legislation.
The group introduced a website, www.ReimagineIllinois.com, which includes tools for the public to learn about the platform through documents, videos and a petition to “get engaged.”
“Illinoisans made a strong, if not deafening statement in November that they want real change, and House Republicans listened,” Durkin said. “It’s time to reimagine Illinois and make it a better place for all of us.”