And that needed cash will not be reimbursed by State government, of course.
From State Senator Don DeWitte:
The elimination of cash bail, a key component of the SAFE-T Act officially takes effect today, September 18.
Among other things, the SAFE T Act creates a standard that all defendants are presumed eligible for pretrial release.
State’s Attorneys must petition the court to even start the process of trying to hold a defendant behind bars pending trial. It also completely eliminates a judge’s ability to require a defendant to post cash bail as a condition of pre-trial release.
Based on bond (cash bail) payments from 2021, the counties within the 33rd Senate District, Kane, McHenry, and DuPage, will lose roughly $12.6 million when cash bonds are not collected. Here is the amount of cash bond that was paid by county in 2021:
- Kane: $4,663,661
- McHenry: $2,263,646
- DuPage: $5,714,393
This loss of bond revenue does not fully reflect how much the SAFE-T will cost counties, as other factors also play into that, such as hiring more staff and judges to fulfill the 48-hour hold/release hearing requirement.
When the SAFE-T Act was approved on the final day of the 2021 lame-duck session, those who supported it (I opposed it) completely ignored the financial hit on local court systems that are now going to have to make up that revenue on their own. Leaving a gap in funding for local courts and critical victims’ services could soon force counties to reduce services, raise taxes, or both.
Lawmakers must address this issue during the upcoming fall veto session to make sure Illinois’ local court systems have the financial resources they need and that victims can continue to receive the support they deserve. Transferring that financial burden to taxpayers is unacceptable.
As “no cash bail” provisions of the law take effect statewide, Illinois becomes the first state in the nation to do away with the system completely.
There have already been three “fix-up” trailer bills to the SAFE-T Act, and I have no doubt there will be additional trailer bills as unintended consequences are realized.