Gov. JB Pritzker earns endorsements from anti-gun violence PACs, faces more pushback on SAFE-T Act

Pritzker used the endorsement as a chance to blast his opponent, Darren Bailey, for being too pro-gun.

Craig Wall Image
Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Pritzker earns anti-gun violence PAC endorsements
Governor JB Pritzker earned endorsements and faced pushback on the SAFE-T Act, which would eliminate Illinois cash bail, ahead of Election Day 2022.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Gov. JB Pritzker joined two mothers who lost children to gun violence as he received the endorsement from the Gun Violence Prevention PAC and the Giffords PAC in his bid for reelection.

Among the supporters was a woman whose son died in the Henry Pratt manufacturing plant mass murders in 2019.

"I do not want any other family to experience the heartache my family has endured. Gun violence needs to be addressed in a meaningful way," said Bonnie Rich, whose son, Trevor Wehner ,was killed.

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Pritzker, who Republicans have tried to paint as soft on crime, denied the endorsement was timed to blunt some of that criticism with 42 days until the election.

"I think this endorsement is a result of years of work fighting gun violence," Pritzker said.

He used the endorsement as a chance to blast his opponent for being too pro-gun.

"Darren Bailey is a Trump extremist who received an 'A' rating from the NRA and thinks that we should make it easier to get guns, not harder," Pritzker said.

Pritzker's endorsement Tuesday made no mention of the controversial SAFE-T Act, which will eliminate cash bail as of Jan. 1.

SEE ALSO | Illinois law eliminating cash bail faces criticism, but supporters say it makes system fairer

A state senator from Champaign has filed an amendment to change several aspects of the law.

"One of the easiest corrections we made in the trailer bill was simply saying this bill applied to offenses that are alleged to have been committed January 1, 2023 or thereafter," said State Sen. Scott Bennett, D-Champaign.

As of Jan. 1, there would not be a rash of people being released who are currently being held on cash bail.

"I take seriously all of his proposals, but we'll have to go through one by one to figure out what works," Pritzker said.

Bailey said the Safe-T Act should be repealed, and lawmakers should start over from scratch. On Tuesday, he fired back at Pritzker.

"He's in trouble with his campaign right now and he knows it, so he's backing up saying 'hey, maybe we need to relook at this now,'" said State Sen. Darren Bailey, the Republican nominee for governor.

The Illinois Network for Pretrial Justice, a coalition of 42 organizations that helped shaped the original Pretrial Fairness Act, which is a part of the Safe-T Act, is already lining up to oppose changes.