FREEPORT, Ill. (WTVO) — State’s attorneys from Winnebago, Boone, and Stephenson counties all announced new lawsuits against Gov. JB Pritzker, calling the SAFE-T Act, which would eliminate cash bail, unconstitutional.

Stephenson County State’s Attorney Carl Larson became the latest to announce a lawsuit on Thursday afternoon, filed on behalf of Stephenson County Sheriff David Snyders.

“The suit alleges various violations including the act was filed in violation of the single subject rule and that portions of the SAFE-T Act (which eliminates the current system of cash bond) violates Article 1 section 9 of the Illinois Constitution, which guarantees that ‘All persons shall be bailable by sufficient sureties,'” Larson said in a press release.

Approximately 50 Illinois state’s attornies have filed related lawsuits.

Winnebago County State’s Attorney J. Hanley announced a suit on Thursday afternoon, saying, “I cannot ignore that, as currently drafted, this law is unconstitutional. Further, it will create unjust results and does not protect the public. Accordingly, it is my duty as your State’s Attorney to fight it.”

Boone County State’s Attorney Tricia Smith also announced a similar suit, saying she and Boone County Sheriff Dave Ernest “are joining a bipartisan coalition of state’s attorneys and sheriffs throughout Illinois who are challenging the constitutionality of the Safe-T Act passed by the Illinois legislature in January 2021.”

“Since the bill’s passage, a group of state’s attorneys have met with the legislature regarding concerns of the bill with hopes of finding a legislative solution,” Smith said. “Those efforts have failed up to this point and at this time, to protect the interests and the safety of the people of Boone County, a lawsuit was filed on October 5, 2022.”

Ogle County State’s Attorney Mike Rock announced that he and Sheriff Brian VanVickle had filed suit as well.

Hanley said he expects the numerous county lawsuits will be consolidated into one so that a court ruling would be applicable to each county simultaneously.

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.

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.

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 has defended the law, saying it would make release impossible for people accused of the worst crimes.

If the elimination of cash bail does not prove to benefit the state, Illinois may in the future create legislation to amend the pretrial release system. Loyola University, with help from the National Institute of Justice, is studying the SAFE-T Act’s implementation and will analyze the effectiveness of the new pretrial release system over the first year.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul has said his office is in discussions about “a number of issues” with the state’s SAFE-T Act, and changes could be made to the language of the law before it takes effect.

Gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey (R) met with Illinois Sheriffs in September and promised to repeal the law if he is elected.

Illinois is the first state in the country to completely abolish cash bail.