(The Center Square) – A bill that would create the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention to help combat gun violence has been sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker.
House Bill 2791 is a trailer bill to the Reimagine Public Safety Act, which was signed in June 2021 and created the Office of Firearm Violence Prevention to issue grants and provide support to violence prevention organizations in communities affected by gun violence.
House Bill 2791 would increase the number of communities that can get the grant money for gun violence programs, based on population size, under the Reimagine Public Safety Act.
The bill would also allow for five more communities to be elected statewide and would allow organizations to apply directly for training and assistance from the state.
State Rep. Justin Slaughter said this is a step in defeating a public health crisis.
"With this bill, our state takes a significantly more comprehensive and holistic approach to gun violence by recognizing this issue as a public health crisis," Slaughter said.
The bill would require the use of state funds and would distribute the funds to all necessary entities including youth development organizations and high-risk youth intervention organizations in areas deemed high risk by the state.
State Rep. Rita Mayfield spoke out against the bill during the House debate, drawing attention to the large amount of funding needed for this legislation.
"This is $100 million, this is not free money, it is not just a bill," Mayfield said. "It is $100 million that will be appropriated in January whether we have it or not."
House Bill 2791 passed the Senate by a vote of 52-0-0, and the House passed a concurrence motion by a vote of 71-41-0. The bill now awaits action from Gov. J.B. Pritzker.