Urging the legislature to reconvene by Tuesday, May 5, State Representative Andrew Chesney (R-Freeport) sent a letter to House Speaker Michael Madigan and the Illinois House Clerk’s office saying the General Assembly must, “address important issues related to the State of Illinois’ response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, as well as any other regular business to be conducted, including working toward passage of a FY 21 State Budget to take effect July 1, 2020.”
Chesney went on to request, “that we meet, in Springfield, under proper social distancing guidelines and with safety at forefront for legislators, staff members and employees.”
The Illinois legislature has not convened since the COVID-19 pandemic set into Illinois in early March and currently has no scheduled days to meet again, despite the fact that a circuit court ruling has called into question Governor Pritzker’s continued Emergency Management authority to issue rulings like the Stay at Home Order and the new and modified Stay at Home Order set to take effect May 1 in Illinois.
Chesney went on to say in his letter, “This week alone, public policy actions have been taken which redirect where we are headed in addressing the COVID pandemic by two of the three branches of Illinois’ government. The only branch stunningly silent during this crisis, is the branch which you and I serve in-the legislative branch.”
“Our constituents demand that the legislature re-asserts its role as a co-equal branch of Illinois’ state government, designed to provide critical checks and balances to the other two co-equal branches,” Chesney wrote. He then urged the Speaker to hold true to his words, “you have been an ardent supporter of the belief that the legislature is a co-equal branch, as stated in a number of your commencement speeches following your repeated inaugurations as Speaker for the State of Illinois. I know that you understand and take seriously your role in preserving this important system of checks and balances… I respectfully request you call the Illinois House into Regular Session on or before Tuesday, May 5, 2020.”