With crime spiking across the state, both parties in Springfield find themselves wrestling with a life-and-death issue that’s begging for problem-solvers, not demagoguery. Yet politics is never far behind.

In Illinois, the issue provides an obvious target for Republicans, who have too little power at this point to bear much of the blame. Democrats don’t have that luxury as they search instead for some good news to justify the merits of the sweeping criminal justice legislation they passed last year, even as they have added additional crime-fighting proposals for this year’s condensed session in Springfield.