Ill. House’s Black Caucus stalls bill targeting repeat gun offenders

SPRINGFIELD — A measure targeting repeat gun offenders — which Chicago’s top cop has promoted as a way to see a 50 percent drop in gun violence within a year — met approval in the Illinois House but is being held via a procedural filing amid a south suburban lawmaker’s request for further negotiation.

The bill was pushed by Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson and Mayor Rahm Emanuel to try to combat the city’s violent crime epidemic. And after nearly two hours of debate, the measure cleared the Illinois House 70-41.

But a motion to reconsider the vote was filed by State Rep. Thaddeus Jones, D-Calumet City, on behalf of the House’s Legislative Black Caucus. It essentially puts a hold on the bill until the motion is removed. Jones voted yes on the bill, which allowed him to file the motion. Jones also left the House floor after the vote passed, meaning a motion to try to remove the filing couldn’t be taken up.

The bill’s House sponsor, Illinois Republican Leader Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, however said he would address the filing on Tuesday, and he said he felt confident he would be able to defeat the motion to consider.

According to State Rep. LaShawn Ford, D-Chicago, the motion was filed to allow for further negotiation on the bill. Ford, who voted no for the bill, said Jones wants a trailer bill attached, with additional criminal justice reforms that were discussed in negotiations.

In a statement, Jones said the Black Caucus believed the bill is “incomplete.” Jones said the legislators want a plan that includes revenue that will fully fund violence prevention programs and provide more educational opportunities and job programs. Additionally, the caucus said it wants gun violence to be declared a public health crisis.

Durkin said additional requests aren’t a condition of the bill as passed.

“The bill has already been vetted, super vetted in committee and also on the floor, and this is a priority right now for the city of Chicago,…

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