Chesney Opposes Scheme by Academia to Stifle Voices On-Campus

Professors may be exempted from Vaccine Proof Policy this Fall

State Representative Andrew Chesney filed House Bill 4106 with the Illinois House Clerk’s Office on Monday morning in reaction to announcements from Illinois colleges and universities, including the University of Illinois, that proof of COVID vaccination will be required for students to return to in-person learning on campuses this Fall.

“I call for these colleges and universities to reverse these policy decisions and to quit using a global pandemic our nation is recovering from as an excuse to stifle voices on-campus in Illinois this Fall,” said Chesney.

If no action is taken by the legislature to prevent this new mandate on students, proof of vaccination will be required of many Illinois college and university students to return to in-person instruction in the Fall. While Illinois has struggled in recent years to retain higher education students in state, this new mandate flies in the face of opposite policies enacted across the country.

“Getting the vaccine is a great option for many and should be encouraged,” said Chesney. “But to put our state at a competitive disadvantage in retention of college students over this mandate, which selectively may not apply to professors and staff, is heart-breaking to those who want to see Illinois grow out of the mess we are in from years of bad policies which have pushed students and families out of Illinois.”

“This is overreach by unelected academics,” said Chesney. “Here in the real world, we see academia’s posturing as censorship, discrimination against those with certain health conditions, and bad public policy for a state shaken by outmigration of young people,” Chesney continued.

Chesney urges that House Bill 4106 be considered during an upcoming Special Session, which is necessary this Summer because Illinois House Democrats failed to pass an energy bill and congressional redistricting maps and will need to return to Springfield to do so.

For more information on this or other state issues, please visit Representative Chesney’s legislative website at repchesney.com.