SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Judges will be encouraged to prescribe longer sentences for repeat gun offenders under a plan signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The idea is to help curb street violence in Chicago. Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson attended the bill signing Friday at the Capitol with the Republican governor.

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The law also introduces a diversion program for non-violent first-time offenders and creates a State Police-led violent crime intelligence task force.

Debate on the issue was contentious with some claiming that stricter sentencing would disproportionately incarcerate minorities without addressing issues underlying Chicago’s violence.

Proponents say it’ll decrease gun violence by giving Chicago law enforcement a needed tool. Rauner calls it another step in the right direction.

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Johnson calls the bill a “monumental win” for Chicago residents’ safety.

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