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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker during an April press conference in Chicago. Photo: Chris Sweda-Pool via Getty Images

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) has signed sweeping criminal justice reform legislation this week that would end cash bail statewide by 2023.

Why it matters: Illinois is the first state to move to eliminate cash bail, which critics say is a "poor people's tax" that benefits the wealthy who can afford to post bail, and disproportionately affects people of color.

How it works: Under the new law, most defendants would be released while awaiting trial unless a judge rules otherwise, per Chicago's WGN9.

What they're saying: Pritzker said in a statement the legislation "marks a substantial step toward dismantling the systemic racism that plagues our communities, our state and our nation and brings us closer to true safety, true fairness and true justice."

  • State Sen. Elgie Sims (D), a member of the Black Caucus that authored the bill signed by Pritzker Monday, said in a statement: "These reforms should merely be the first steps we take to transform criminal justice in Illinois."

The big picture: The bill also requires police in the state to wear body cameras, sets standards on use of force, crowd control responses, de-escalation, and arrest techniques, and eliminates license suspensions for unpaid fines and fees for some traffic offenses, among other measures.

  • The provisions are set to be phased in over four years from July 1.

The other side: State House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said in a statement Tuesday the incoming laws were an "insult to our first responders, law enforcement and the law-abiding citizens of Illinois who want to be free from violence and destruction from the criminal element."

  • Ed Wojcicki, executive director of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, referred to reforms in a statement as the "anti-police bill."

Go deeper

Virginia set to abolish the death penalty

The Virginia State Capitol. Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Virginia lawmakers on Monday gave their final approval to legislation that will abolish capital punishment in the state.

Why it matters: The measure now heads to Gov. Ralph Northam (D), who has said he will sign it into law. Once signed, Virginia will become the first southern state and the 23rd state nationwide to end capital punishment.

Super typhoon Surigae explodes to Cat. 5 intensity

Super Typhoon Surigae seen on satellite imagery Saturday morning east of the Philippines. (CIRA/RAMMB)

Super Typhoon Surigae surged in intensity from a Category 1 storm on Friday to a beastly Category 5 monster on Saturday, with maximum sustained winds estimated at 190 mph with higher gusts.

Why it matters: This storm — known as Typhoon Bising in the Philippines — is just the latest of many tropical cyclones to undergo a process known as rapid intensification, a feat that studies show is becoming more common due to climate change. It weakened slightly, to the equivalent of a strong Category 4 storm, on Sunday.

3 hours ago - World

Biden adviser warns "there will be consequences" for Russia if Navalny dies

The Biden administration warned the Russian government "that there will be consequences" if jailed Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny dies, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan told CNN on Sunday.

The big picture: Sullivan also defended President Biden for not mentioning Navalny in a Thursday speech about Russia or in a Tuesday call with Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying the White House aims to deal with the issue "privately and through diplomatic channels."

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