SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Election-year anti-crime legislation is on the move in Springfield with a response to the surge in carjackings getting attention on Tuesday.
Up first was a measure to provide relief to carjacking victims.
“Imagine if you are the victim of a carjacking and yet time passes, you have that traumatic experience and in the mail you receive a bill saying you that you owe for red light tickets or speeding cameras and so forth,” State Sen. Omar Aquino (D-Chicago) said.
Under House Bill 3772, fines and fees picked up during a vehicular hijacking would be waived.
Also, Democrats said they want to provide law enforcement with more tools to go after carjackers.
Under House Bill 3699, state police, county sheriffs and local police would pool resources. And they would be eligible for state grants.
In Chicago, carjackings soared to a two-decade high. There were 1,836 carjackings in the city last year and so far this year there have been 451, according to CPD.
But the problem is not unique to Chicago as Senator Kimberly Lightford of knows all too well. Last December, she and her husband were carjacked in Broadview.
“I pled to them not to shoot me and my husband,” Lightford said. “I was terrified and I believe that I stopped breathing.”
Lightford’s husband exchanged gunfire with the carjackers, according to police. No one was hurt and police have not made any arrests.
Republicans favor an aggressive crackdown on carjackings and other violent offenses, including 10-year mandatory to life in prison mandatory sentences.
On Tuesday, they slammed the Democrats’ ideas.
The recent proposals introduced do very little to move the needle on this very serious issue. They simply just add bureaucracy and taxpayer dollars to this epidemic and do nothing to actually hold offenders accountable for their actions,” State Sen. John Curran (R- Lemont)said in a statement.
Democrats said they plan to unveil legislation that would work with car manufacturers on technology to help prevent and track carjackings.