Andrew Chesney


Andrew Chesney


Senator Chesney’s Week in Review

Counties within 45th Senate District to lose approximately $10 2 million lost revenue from cash bonds
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 45th Senate District (Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Jo Daviess, Ogle, Stephenson, and Winnebago) will lose roughly $10.2 million when cash bonds are not collected. Here is the amount of cash bond that was paid by county in 2021:

  • Boone: $836,394
  • Carroll: $138,466
  • DeKalb: $1,389,190
  • Jo Daviess: $310,180
  • Ogle: $340,518
  • Stephenson: $617, 129
  • Winnebago: $6,603,131


The numbers above do not reflect amounts that are ultimately returned, but they also do not fully reflect other costs, such as the need for 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.


IL State Police encourages traffic safety during harvest season
National Farm Safety and Health Week begins September 17, and the Illinois State Police (ISP) is reminding motorists and farmers about traffic safety during the fall harvest season, which typically begins in early September and can last into November. As farmers are traveling between fields, ISP is asking motorists and farmers to share the road to help reduce crashes involving tractors, implements, and other farm equipment.

ISP is encouraging motorists to:

  • Allow extra travel time during harvest season.
  • Don’t pass until it’s safe and legal to do so.
  • Use extra caution around tractors and slow-moving vehicles.
  • Adjust to a greater following distance to increase sight lines when following behind wide, slow-moving vehicles.


Dial 988 offers help for individuals in crisis
September 10-16 was National Suicide Prevention Week, and individuals in crisis can now call or text the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline at any time to connect with a trained crisis counselor.

As of July 16, 2022, all calls and text messages to “988” route to a 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline call center, which provides free and confidential support for people in distress 24 hours per day and seven days per week. You can learn more about the 988 hotline here.

National Suicide Prevention Week is an annual campaign to inform and engage health professionals and the public about suicide prevention and warning signs of suicide.


Illinois State Fair sets attendance records
According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, the 2023 Illinois State Fair in Springfield saw more than 700,000 attendees during the 11-day event, which the Department says sets the new record.

The Department also announced the Fair had the second-highest number of Grandstand tickets sold in the last five years, and record-breaking carnival revenue ($1.58 million).

Planning is now underway for the 2024 Illinois State Fair, which is scheduled to run August 8-18.

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