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    Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria), left, and Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) sparred on Wednesday over criminal justice legislation.

    House Democrats hit the gas pedal Tuesday on a flurry of bills designed to throw life rafts to struggling police departments and tamp down historically high crime rates across the state. Most Republicans joined their colleagues across the aisle to advance seven proposals out of the House Judiciary - Criminal Committee and through the House, but not before warning that the measures were little more than band-aid fixes.

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