SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Sue Scherer D-Decatur, recently filed legislation to provide funding for a proven program in curbing gun violence known as CeaseFire.
“I believe programs like CeaseFire are needed to help keep our communities safe and protect our children,” said Scherer. No one should have to live in fear of being a victim to gun violence and it is my mission to help our neighborhoods feel more safe and secure.”
House Bill 3864, introduced by Rep. Scherer, would provide funding to Springfield with the intention of restarting the CeaseFire program. The Ceasefire program was receiving an appropriation of more than $4 million but Gov. Rauner cut funding which forced the program to shut down and end operations. Last week Scherer attended a public safety committee where victims of gun violence and members of the community gave testimony and shared their positive experiences of the program and how they believe CeaseFire saves lives.
“As a violence interrupter, I was a community member who people could turn to in their hour of greatest need and sadness, and I could help them see another path,” said Andre Neal, lead outreach worker for Springfield’s former CeaseFire program. “It’s not about preaching, it’s about hope, and this is a proven strategy. It saddens me to see the violence in my neighborhood that has spread since we were forced to shut down. We, as a state, can do better, and I’m asking for the ability to do a job that I know saves lives.”