SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois lawmakers returned to Springfield Tuesday to discuss potential changes to the SAFE-T Act, which eliminates cash bail and goes into effect on January 1st, 2023.

There is still no proposal to amend the law.

On Tuesday, Gov. JB Pritzker said the law only needs minor changes, to clarify its language.

“I believe that this bill is a good bill that has some necessary changes, that will be in the next two days presented to the General Assembly. So let’s let that happen,” Pritzker said.

This is the final week in which lawmakers are scheduled to meet in the state capitol before the law goes into effect.

Sixty-two state’s attorneys throughout Illinois, both Democrat, and Republican have filed suit to block the implementation of the law.

The Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today Act, or the SAFE-T Act, was introduced by the Illinois Black Caucus as part of Black legislators’ response to the murder of George Floyd, and was passed by the Illinois Senate and House of Representatives in the early hours of Jan. 13, 2021.

Gov. JB Pritzker signed the bill into law on Feb. 22 of that year, whereupon it became known as Public 101-0652.

The act abolishes the money bail system beginning Jan. 1, 2023. According to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the cash bail system disproportionately impacts Black and brown communities and other underrepresented or impoverished groups, who can’t afford bond.

Someone who is arrested after Jan. 1 may be released prior to their trial, based on the assumption of innocence guaranteed in the United States Constitution. However, a judge will have the power to determine whether a person should be released based on a public safety evaluation rather than the size of the defendant’s wallet.

Certain crimes, including forcible felonies, stalking, and domestic abuse, guarantee the revocation of pretrial release; meaning, they will not be released after arrest. This is outlined in the act’s section 110-6.1.a.

Many Illinois law enforcement agencies have warned the act will embolden criminals and make it harder for police to keep offenders off the streets.

Pritzker said he is not entertaining the idea of pushing the effective date back until summer 2023, and said he expects changes to be made by the end of the week.

The sponsors of the act insist that the “spirit” of the law will remain intact, but state’s attorneys are proposing big changes that include broadening the number of offenses that judges can detain people for.

The SAFE-T Act currently spells out which offenses are eligible for detainment. Advocates for the law said that it is about becoming less dependent on jailing people before they are found guilty.

Most of the debate will be happening from within the Democratic party. Republican leadership is still calling for the act to be repealed entirely.

Lawsuits filed by individual state’s attorneys have been consolidated into one in Kankakee County, so that a ruling will affect each county simultaneously.

A judge’s ruling in the case could come as soon as December 15th.