Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker listens to speakers during a transgender support rally at Federal Building Plaza on April 27, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

It was a no-brainer that the Illinois Supreme Court needed to step in to avert chaos once a Kankakee County judge invalidated portions of a state law designed to end most forms of cash bail in Illinois.

Trouble was, Judge Thomas Cunnington’s ruling affected 65 of 102 Illinois counties, the ones that sued to block implementation of the cash bail portion of the SAFE-T Act. In the other counties, those that didn’t sue, the full SAFE-T Act would have gone into effect — creating a nearly bail-free system in a patchwork of counties across the state.

Consider Aurora. Four counties converge within its city limits. Two would have eliminated bail in most cases; two would have kept it. In Naperville, the Will County portion would have retained cash bail but not the DuPage County portion.

The state Supreme Court averted this mess by putting a hold on implementation of parts of the Safety, Accountability, Fairness and Equity-Today Act governing cash bail. A final ruling on the law’s pretrial fairness provisions is expected within weeks.

Read the full story at

David Greising is the president and chief executive of the Better Government Association, joining the BGA in 2018. For nearly a century, the BGA has fought for honest and effective government through investigative journalism and policy advocacy.