Niemerg: Half Measures, New Spending, Few Answers Plague Democrat Crime Bills

SPRINGFIELD – Rep. Adam Niemerg was on the floor of the Bank of Springfield Center in January 2021, as the 101st General Assembly finalized votes on sweeping criminal justice reform legislation known as the SAFE-T Act. Niemerg, who was waiting to be sworn in for the first time as 109th District State Representative as the votes were cast, says he was shocked at the lack of respect for police, the minority party, and the legislative process displayed by Democrats on that day. Shortly after the SAFE-T Act passed, Governor Pritzker put his signature on the legislation, with chaos and violence on the rise in Illinois ever since.

“Democrats passed incredibly irresponsible legislation through at the 11th hour, after amending the SAFE-T Act in the middle of the night on the last day of the previous Session. House Republicans warned Democrats their actions would lead to a reduction in public safety, and I am sad to report the results of the Democrats’ defund the police bill have been even worse than we predicted,” Niemerg said. “Today, Illinois Democrats are working hard on a do-over, but their ‘solutions’ amount to half-measures, hundreds of millions in new financial liabilities, and very few answers for police officers and victims of violent crime.”

Niemerg cast a No vote on HB 1568, legislation that lowers the retirement age for law enforcement officers to 55, on Tuesday evening.

“HB 1568 creates another $250 million in pension liabilities, but the sponsor of the bill claimed the new cost would only be $7 million. I cannot in good conscience vote for a bill that explodes our pension debt, and especially when the bill’s sponsor cannot accurately answer questions,” Niemerg said. ‘If we wish to explore a reduction in the retirement age we must do so in a collaborative way, without a massive increase in unfunded pension liabilities.”

Niemerg says the only way to restore public safety and drive down crime in Illinois is to fully repeal the Democrats’ defund the police SAFE-T Act.

“Half measures, expensive new programs, and a soft-on-crime philosophy will mean more of the same for the people of Illinois living in fear in their communities,” Niemerg said. “I favor repealing the SAFE-T Act, fully funding and supporting the police, and enacting tough-on-crime policies. Illinois must not continue to be a place where criminals act emboldened and face little consequences for their serious crimes.”