The Governor’s plan to re-open Illinois needs the input of all of the state’s diverse regions, not just large cities, and Senator Jil Tracy says legislative leaders must schedule a public hearing on the plan when lawmakers return to Springfield next week.
Senator Tracy’s comments follow a letter sent May 14 by Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady to Senate President Don Harmon, requesting a public hearing next week with the Governor’s staff to let lawmakers ask how they came to the conclusions in their re-opening plan, and what revisions they would accept to help get the state’s economy back on track more quickly.
As a result of continued pressure by local, state and legislative Republican leaders, the General Assembly will return to Springfield May 20-22 to address concerns facing Illinois as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as work on other time-sensitive issues and a state budget for the next fiscal year.
“For more than two months, decisions have been made by our Governor in Chicago with no legislative input from the men and women who are elected by residents throughout the state to represent their interests. So now it’s our turn. We must be allowed input to explain that we are being subjected to very strict one-size-fits-all orders when our communities do not need all of these restrictions,” Senator Tracy said.
The 47th District Senator says she also wants to have much more input into fiscal decisions – for the current Fiscal Year and for Fiscal Year 2021 – that are needed to address staggering state revenue shortfalls that are the result of back-to-back stay-at-home government-ordered shutdowns that have also cut deeply into many residents’ income earnings.
“Were downstate or small-town interests ever considered in making any of these decisions? We do not doubt the good intentions of safety restrictions … in areas that are COVID-19 hotspots,” she said. “But this continued quarantine is a terrible hardship on, and could be the end of, many of our small businesses in the 47th District, and the jobs that they provide.”
Senator Tracy said a re-opening plan with the potential to impact the lives of so many, and which aims to balance public safety concerns with the economic well-being of Illinois, should receive input from the co-equal Executive and Legislative branches of state government.
Residents can voice their support for a public hearing by signing a petition at http://senatorjiltracy.com/sign-the-petition.