ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Winnebago County Board voted in against supporting Illinois controversial SAFE-T Act law, which would eliminate cash bail statewide on January 1st, 2023.

The board approved a measure Thursday night, with a 13 to 6 vote, in favor of calling for the law to be repealed in the General Assembly.

“We need to pray that this criminal-hugging bill will never go into effect,” said retired police officer and District 1 board member, Aaron Booker.

He said the law was ridiculous.

“I’m passionate about it because, for 30 years of my life, I was out there. I was getting punched and kicked and spit on and I was shot at once before on Christmas Day, so I’m very very passionate about this,” Booker said.

The majority of the council is in favor of repealing the legislation, but Reverend Dr. Matthew Johnson said, as a clergy leader in the community, he sees the positive.

“Right now in Illinois if you’re rich and accused of a crime, you can get out and if you’re poor, you stay in jail until your trial. These folks are innocent until proven guilty and our justice system should decide whether they stay in jail, based on if they are a threat to somebody and not by how much money they have,” Johnson said.

Johnson also said he thinks most people don’t understand the law.

“There are people, right now, who are in the Winnebago County Jail, who are there because they can’t pay their bond. And there are other people accused of the same crimes who are out walking the street, waiting for their trial date to determine whether or not they are guilty of their crime or not,” he said.

Johnson added that he believes the cash bail system is based on politics, rather than what is best for the community.