Rep. Hammond Urges Gov. Pritzker to Consult General Assembly on Coronavirus Executive Orders, Consider Regional Re-opening

Zoom, IL – State Representatives Norine Hammond (R-Macomb), Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) and C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) are urging Governor J.B. Pritzker to consult and work with lawmakers in the General Assembly before he issues future Coronavirus-specific executive orders and to consider a regional approach to re-opening Illinois’ economy.

“As a co-equal branch of government, the Illinois General Assembly has a duty to collaborate and provide legislative oversight with the other branches of government, particularly with the executive branch,” said Rep. Hammond. “Additionally, lawmakers hear from their constituents and the people of Illinois on a daily basis, more so during a crisis like this and more often than the decision-makers in state agencies and the governor’s office. This is exactly why the governor should consult and work with lawmakers from both parties and across the state as he considers further executive orders related to the Coronavirus. If the governor works with us, we can ensure that his actions reflect the uniqueness of our area and the diversity of our state.”

State statute gives the governor emergency powers for up to a 30-day period when there are natural disasters declared via an executive proclamation. Governor J.B. Pritzker has used that authority to issue so-called “Stay at Home” orders to close certain businesses and postpone certain activities to limit the spread of Coronavirus by limiting citizens’ ability to work and travel. State statute is unclear as to whether the governor can issue successive disaster proclamations and executive orders for the same natural disaster beyond a 30-day period. Rep. Hammond and other lawmakers are urging the governor to involve the General Assembly in any further Coronavirus-related actions, including a plan to allow the state to safely re-open on a regional basis.

“We know the Coronavirus is affecting our area in ways very differently than Chicago,” Rep. Hammond continued. “That’s why I believe county health departments and local emergency management agencies should be empowered to make decisions based on the situation on the ground locally, rather than State officials making decisions based on statewide data. I will continue to urge the Governor to be more transparent, make decisions on a regional basis and allow communities not seeing growing positive Coronavirus cases to re-open businesses and other activities on a safe, responsible and timely basis.”