Chicago Police Superintendent Connects Violence And Budget Stalemate

Mar 10, 2017

Chicago’s top police officer is acknowledging a connection between violence in the city and Illinois’ failure to pass a budget.

Some Democrats have blamed the rise in shootings on the closure of anti-violence programs, as Illinois has gone more than 20 months without a real state budget.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson says he’s “sure that has some effect."

“Let’s face it: When you cut out funding for mental health treatment, drug treatment, things of that nature, those individuals don’t have a place to go, then their next step is to commit crime, so I’m sure there’s some correlation in there," Johnson says.

Johnson was in Springfield Thursday supporting legislation to strengthen penalties on repeat gun offenders.

The measure was approved in committee, but Democrats postponed action by the full Senate. They say they hear Governor Bruce Rauner might have suggestions for changing the legislation.

A spokeswoman for Rauner would only say the bill is "under review."