22 March 2017
House Panel OK’s $25 Million Anti-Terrorism Bill in Wake of Bomb Threats to Jewish Centers
(Springfield, IL) – An Illinois House panel on Wednesday approved legislation to authorize a $25 million anti-terrorism program that provide grants to non-profit groups to bolster security at their facilities.
In the wake of bomb threats nationally to Jewish Centers, Jewish schools, including Chicago, and vandalized Jewish cemeteries, House Deputy Majority Leader Lou Lang (D-Skokie) rolled out the legislation, House Bill 4011, that would establish a $25 million grant making program in the Illinois Secretary of State’s office to provide financial assistance “on an emergency basis” to Illinois non-profits to blunt or respond to “acts of terrorism” against their facilities.
“In the aftermath of a presidential campaign in which anti-Semitic dog whistles were blown – and tweeted – regularly by Donald Trump, his white supremacist supporters have felt emboldened to lob hoax bomb threats at Jewish institutions,” said Lang. “I am unwilling to risk that domestic terrorists will be content with hoax bomb threats; so, that’s why I am pushing a fast-track, program to enhance security at non-profit facilities targeted by terrorism.”
According to the legislation, the Secretary of State can authorize a grant of any amount based on a detailed threat assessment submitted by non-profit applicants.
Lang applauded Governor Bruce Rauner’s stand taken against “hate” at the Illinois Holocaust Museum’s recent awards dinner and looks forward to governor’s support for his proposal.
“I am encouraged by the governor’s comments made at the Holocaust Museum dinner – ‘We cannot stay silent on hate. We cannot stay silent when families in our community are in danger,’” said Lang. “I’m sure that he’ll want to back up those words with action; so, I look forward to his support for my legislation.”
The legislation now moves to the full House for consideration.
Lang expects action on a companion measure, HB 4012, which actually appropriates the $25 million, when the legislature returns to Springfield next week.