Rauner signs law tightening civil forfeiture requirements

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Illinois governor Bruce Rauner. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CHICAGO (AP) _ Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation making it harder for authorities to confiscate property from crime suspects.

The law puts the burden of proof of law enforcement officials when seizing a car or other property in connection with a suspected crime. Current law allows police to confiscate property without even charging an owner for participation in an illegal activity.

The practice has been widely used for years. It’s often associated with the seizure of cash or automobiles in drug cases. But it’s been sharply criticized.

The law makes authorities prove an owner consented to the property being used for illegal action instead of forcing the owner to show he or she was not connected.

The law takes effect July 1.