Proposed Legislation Would Change When County Sheriffs are Sworn in

By Jeremy Coumbes on April 27, 2021 at 8:46am

An area State Senator has proposed legislation aimed at keeping counties in Illinois from going without a sheriff.

Legislation proposed by 50th District State Senator Steve McClure is advancing in the General Assembly that would ensure elected sheriffs can be sworn in without delay.

Senate Bill 0135 was approved by the Illinois Senate on Wednesday and calls for any newly elected county sheriff to enter office on December 1st, regardless of what day of the week that falls on.

Current state law requires an elected sheriff to be sworn in on the first day of the month where the office is required to be open. In some years, that will not be the first day of the month.

According to an update on the bill’s progress from the Senator’s Office yesterday. this was the issue faced by Sangamon County in 2018, when they weren’t able to swear in their newly-elected sheriff, Jack Campbell, until December 3rd.

In that case, the county’s coroner had to assume the role between the end of the previous sheriff’s term until Sheriff Campbell’s swearing-in.

McClure says the delay could have happened during a serious emergency, leaving the people of Sangamon county without their top law enforcement official when they are needed most.

McClure says the legislation will make sure counties can rely on having their elected sheriff in place without any unnecessary delays. Senate Bill 0135 is now headed to the Illinois House for consideration in that chamber.