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june 2010 newsletter. - IPCSA

Capitol Report –

Capitol Report – August 2010by John McCabeIPCSA Legislative LiaisonIt’s good news week! Just before press time, IPCSA received some very goodnews. Governor Pat Quinn agreed to a request from Chief Justice Thomas Fitzgeraldto transfer an additional $20 million to the Supreme Court to supportprobation. Two years in a row, in very difficult budgetary times, the Governorhas personally stepped up and shown his leadership. Chief Justice Fitzgerald again wore out a path to theGovernor’s Office to make sure he knew how important these funds were to the criminal justice systemand to every county in the State.It is clearly time for the fitting of a pair of white hats for our two saviors in these trying budgetary times.With a $6 billion deficit, and at least another $6 billion in unpaid bills, as every county can attest, the Governoronly had $200 million in discretionary funds. We got 10 percent of that limited amount. Pass thethesaurus, I’m running out of superlative adjectives. (Please see the quote from IPCSA President FrankMorelli that was provided to the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.)We still have tough times ahead of us. Every county depends on funds from the State and payments arestill more than six months late. We are still suffering from the gimmick-plagued budgets of Rod Blagojevichand a General Assembly that wants to heap more costs on counties via expensive criminal justice“solutions” without taking the responsibility to pay for these costs.The other good news we received is that the Governor signed Senate Bill 3540. It contains IPCSArequestedchanges to the probation fee statute, making it easier to raise the maximum from $25 to $50per month, limiting discretion to not assess probation fees, clarifying that all transfer cases are subject tofees, that fees may be paid in a lump sum, and that Probation Departments can re-evaluate fees assessedshould a probationer’s ability to pay improve. The Governor also recently approved Senate Bill 3030,which contained an IPCSA request to strengthen protection for probation officers by making an assault ofa probation officer aggravated assault and a Class 4 Felony.This past session, we also defeated several proposed measures that would have hampered probation. TheJuvenile Justice Institute circulated a proposed amendment to House Bill 5914 that would have requiredviolators of Juvenile Parole sanctions to be held in detention centers until they could have a hearing beforea judge instead of being sent back to the Department of Juvenile Justice for a hearing. Upon hearingthat I would personally tell every legislator that this would place juveniles with charges including murderand rape in the general population of a detention center, the measure was withdrawn and not introduced.Another bill was introduced that would create a Probation agency separate from the Supreme Court butwas held by the sponsor at my request. Several county officials asked to have it introduced out of frustra-(Continued on page 4)3

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