The Chicago Crime Commission has historically opposed improper and unethical gaming legislation. We have most recently opposed the passage of SB 1739, also known as "The Chicago Casino Development Authority Act", a massive gambling expansion bill for the State of Illinois. The Chicago Crime Commission's Executive Vice President, Mr. Arthur J. Bilek, addressed the State Senate regarding the Commission's grievances with the bill as originally proposed, and listed suggestions that would make for a more suitable and ethical gaming bill.
The bill passed in the Illinois Senate, but was not able to receive a final vote in the Illinois House before the end of the most recent session in the 98th General Assembly. However, several gaming "sidebar" bills were indeed passed while much of the attention was placed on the greater expansion bill. The Chicago Crime Commission opposes each of them and presented its arguments in a letter to Governor Pat Quinn, requesting the veto of the gaming bills that were passed in both Houses.
Illinois Street Gang Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Statute:
The Chicago Crime Commission applauds Governor Quinn for signing the Illinois Street Gang Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act on June 11, 2012. The Act gives law enforcement officials the authority to pursue and charge gangs as criminal organizations, causing a potentially devastating blow to Chicagoland gangs. This legislation protects the residents of Illinois against street gangs and organized criminal enterprises. However, it has no application to political corruption or white collar crime, and no expansion of one-party consent recordings or wiretapping authority. The State of Illinois now has the authority, consistent with that under the federal RICO Act, to dismantle criminal enterprises that are inflicting harm upon both the people and economy of Illinois.
Medical Cannabis in Illinois:
The Chicago Crime Commission has urged Governor Quinn to veto the recent medical cannabis bill, HB0001, that have passed both Houses in the Illinois General Assembly earlier in 2013. The Commission is against allowing eligible participants in what would be a four-year pilot program to be prescribed up to 2.5 ounces of medical cannabis every two weeks. Executive Director, Joseph Ways, has said that this "will provide a surplus of marijuana that will undoubtedly find its way into the wrong hands and have significant law enforcement implications."
HB0001 also does not provide for sufficient testing to determine if motorists have been impaired by marijuana use. The bill would require anyone with a medical cannabis permit to submit to a field sobriety test during police traffic stops. However, with science having yet to determine a sobriety test for cannabis consumption on par with those for alcohol consumption, an officer cannot effectively determine with the same level of confidence if a motorist's consumption of medical cannabis has impaired their driving. Such legislation should not be enacted into law until credible research and science exists on the matter.