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December 9, 1999

Governor Issues Call For Special Session

SPRINGFIELD -- Governor George H. Ryan today issued an official proclamation calling for a special session of the General Assembly on December 13, 1999 to consider the reenactment of state's Safe Neighborhoods Law. A December 2nd ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court invalidated the act based on the single subject provision of the Illinois Constitution.

"We need to get these laws back on the books as soon as possible to keep our neighborhoods safe," Ryan said. "I want to thank Attorney General Jim Ryan, the General Assembly, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and law enforcement officials throughout Illinois for their efforts to resolve this matter in a timely fashion."

The Supreme Court struck down the Safe Neighborhoods Act last week, invalidating a package of crime provisions including laws cracking down on gunrunning and unlawful use of weapons as well as drunk-driving offenses. In order to return these law enforcement tools to the books, the Governor is requesting the General Assembly pass appropriate reenactment laws. At 1:00 p.m. on Monday, December 13th the General Assembly will convene under instructions to limit their work to consideration of the reenactment language.

The special session came after Governor. Ryan hosted a meeting Monday with Mayor Daley, Attorney General Jim Ryan, the legislative leaders, prosecutors and law enforcement officials from throughout Illinois. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss options for reinstating the Safe Neighborhoods Law

Subsequently, Governor Ryan asked the Attorney General to form a task force to draft appropriate, corrective language. Those provisions, in the form of House Bill 2711 and Senate Bill 391, will be considered by the General Assembly during the Special Session.

A copy of the proclamation calling for the special session is attached.

WHEREAS, on January 1, 1995, Public Act 88-680 entitled " AN ACT to create a Safe Neighborhoods Law" became effective; and

WHEREAS, Public Act 88-680 contained a significant number of criminal offense penalty enhancements, new criminal offenses and juvenile delinquency provisions; and

WHEREAS, on December 2, 1999, the Illinois Supreme Court in People v. Cervantes, Docket No. 87229, ruled that Public Act 88-680 violates the single subject clause of the Illinois Constitution (Article IV, Section 8 (d)) and is unconstitutional in its entirety; and

WHEREAS, in the event the Illinois Supreme Court denies the Attorney General's Petition for Rehearing, the provisions of Public Act 88-680 cannot be applied to criminal and juvenile offenses until reenacted into law; and

WHEREAS, it is essential that the provisions of Public Act 88-680 be reenacted before the Illinois General Assembly returns for regular session on January 12, 2000, so that the criminal offenses and enhanced penalties can be applied to criminal acts committed between the effective date of the reenactment and the year 2000 Legislative Session;

THEREFORE, pursuant to Article IV, Section 5(b) of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, I, George H. Ryan, Governor of the State of Illinois, hereby call and convene the 91st General Assembly in special session to commence on December 13, 1999, at 1:00 p.m., to consider only the reenactment of provisions contained in Public Act 88-680 (as subsequently amended); such special session shall be limited to the consideration of House Bill 2711 and Senate Bill 391 now pending before the General Assembly and which have been recommended for this purpose by a Task Force convened by the Attorney General at my request.


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