SRINGFIELD, ILL. (KMOX) – Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is announcing new plans to step up the state’s efforts to fight hate crimes.

Governor Rauner says we live in turbulent times, citing recent acts of hatred like cemetery vandalism and bomb threats at Jewish Centers.

So he’s announcing a plan to stop hate fueled violence. The new laws would create tougher penalties for hate crimes committed against churches and religious centers.

“This bill will also make certain that before parole or pardon can be granted for crimes of hate, community service and education about the Holocaust and genocide is part of any program before anyone is pardoned or paroled,” he says.

Governor Rauner also says he wants to expand anti-hate education in schools along with a training program for police while responding to hate crimes.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she’s sent a letter to Governor Rauner calling on him to restore the state’s commission on hate crimes.

Madigan says it’s needed to combat what she calls a “troubling increase” in hate crimes. She’s urging the Governor to make immediate and diverse appointments to the commission.

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