SPRINGFIELD — The sponsor of legislation that would require governmental agencies to disclose the number of video surveillance cameras they have said she may not move to override Gov. Pat Quinn's amendatory veto of the bill.
State Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, said Sunday that because she's been out of state and unable to communicate with other lawmakers, she's not certain whether she'll try to override Quinn's action, which was announced late Friday afternoon, "but perhaps the amendments won't do anything bad to what we wanted to do. As of now I think we'll be all right with the amendments."
Quinn amended the bill (HB 1948) so that the provision for disclosing the number of security and surveillance cameras does not apply to state prisons, county or municipal jails, courthouses, police stations, power plants, water treatment facilities or airports.
In his veto message, the governor wrote, "Though this bill is limited to outdoor cameras that are not used for traffic enforcement, it does not adequately account for public safety.
"I am concerned that exposing the number of security cameras at our courthouses, police and sheriff's facilities and correctional facilities may present security risks. For example, requiring the Department of Corrections to disclose the numbers of cameras that are in use at correctional facilities, poses a significant threat to public safety."
Jakobsson said she doesn't think she'll attempt to override the veto.
"At this point I think that's my feeling. I will want to make sure that the other people I was working with feel that way," she said.
Jakobsson said she didn't hear any complaints from law enforcement officials about the legislation when it was being considered in committee and on the House floor. In fact, the bill passed the House 110-0 and the Senate 55-0.
"In fact we worked really hard with the city of Chicago and other people and didn't hear any of this. Sometimes I wonder why we didn't hear any of this while we're working on something," she said. "We really did try."
The bill would require agencies to report annually to the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority the number of surveillance cameras they have. They also would be required to post their privacy regulations, if they have any.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which had asked Jakobsson to sponsor the bill, says it is needed because there are thousands of video surveillance cameras in Illinois, but little information about them has been released to the public. The ACLU says it has serious civil liberties and civil rights concerns about the cameras, including the possible invasion of privacy, voyeurism and discriminatory targeting.