SAFE-T Act, abortion and assault guns: Where 42nd state Senate candidates Holmes, Santucci stand
Republican candidate Paul Santucci and Democratic state Sen. Linda Holmes, who are running for the 42nd state Senate District seat, agree the controversial SAFE-T Act criminal-justice reform law needs fixing.
In an interview with the Daily Herald, Holmes said she voted against the first version of the bill but was in favor of subsequent versions.
Among other things, the massive law requires police departments to use body-worn cameras and eliminates cash bail come Jan. 1.
"Quite frankly, it is a complicated piece of legislation," Holmes said. There are aspects of it police and prosecutors support, she added, such as the body cameras and the idea that people accused of violent crimes should not be able to be freed pretrial just because they can afford to post bond.
"If I was in office I would have voted 'no,'" Santucci said. "I feel that the form it is in now needs to be repealed." But, he added, there were parts of it he does support, including provisions addressing police abuse of power.
"I would not say, 'All of it is garbage and must go,' but there are issues that must be addressed before we are comfortable with the law," Santucci said.
Santucci and Holmes both live in Aurora. The 42nd District covers parts of St. Charles, Geneva, Batavia, North Aurora and Aurora.
Holmes said she will continue to support women's access to abortion. Illinois is a "beacon of hope here in the middle of the country for all these states around us" that have eliminated or tightly restricted the ability to get an abortion, she said.
"Despite my personal beliefs on the subject, as a legislator I definitely would never want to take rights away from any citizen," Santucci said. He said that also applies to the rights of lesbian, bisexual, gay, queer and transgender people to marry.
Santucci said he "understands" a compromise that would limit abortions to the first trimester of pregnancy. He said abortions should always be available if the mother's health is in danger, or if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest.
"I'm not on the far right of 'all abortions are bad' and want to legislate that way," Santucci said.
Holmes said she would consider favorably any proposal to enact a statewide ban on the sale of high-capacity rifles and ammunition. But, she said, she doubts it would be effective because people could get the weapons in neighboring states.
A national ban would be better, she added.
Santucci said such guns are military-style weapons that "should not be in the hands of private citizens."
"If you need that kind of rifle to shoot a deer, then you shouldn't be hunting," he said.
Holmes has been a state senator for 16 years. She is the assistant majority leader.
Santucci is a Naperville Township trustee.
You can watch the interview with the candidates on dailyherald.com.