SPRINGFIELD – With yet another late-night vote, Senate Democrats forced through a bill Oct. 28 that will empower the state’s Executive Branch to reduce the freedoms of the Illinoisans they represent.
Senate Bill 1169 narrows the scope of the Health Care Right of Conscience Act (HCRCA), a decades-old law that allows individuals to refuse to take part in healthcare services that are contrary to their religious beliefs, morals, or otherwise contrary to their conscience.
Approved Oct. 28 by a vote of 31-24, Senate Bill 1169 codifies that it is not a violation of the HCRCA if any entities, namely employers, enforce any measures or requirements on employees to prevent the contraction or transmission of COVID-19.
State Sen. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy), who voted against Senate Bill 1169, released a statement following the vote:
“A representative government’s duty is to protect the freedoms of its citizens. This kind of legislative overreach, led by this Governor, sends a message to our constituents that what they believe does not matter, and they can now be fired for their strongly-held beliefs.
It’s noteworthy that an unprecedented number of people – more than 50,000 – voiced their opposition to the House and Senate committees that were considering this legislation. And many schools and other employers have voiced their concerns to me that they will lose enough employees that they will have to close their doors.
Instead of working with state lawmakers and local government officials to create local buy-in for vaccination and mitigation strategies, this Governor is employing a heavy-handed approach and stacking the legal deck to favor his unilateral go-it-alone approach to governing.”
Already approved by the House of Representatives on Oct. 27, Senate Bill 1169 now moves to the Governor for consideration.