State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer joined a group of Republican legislators Wednesday in calling for the General Assembly to have input on Governor Pritzker’s extension of the stay at home order.
100th District Representative Davidsmeyer joined 93rd District Representative Norine Hammond and 65th District Representative Dan Ugaste in a press teleconference to urge House Speaker Michael Madigan and Senate President Don Harmon to call the General Assembly back to Springfield to vote if the current stay at home order by Governor J.B. Pritzker should stay in effect.
Davisdmeyer says the state legislature needs to have a say in the state pandemic response, citing the 30 day limitation for an Emergency Disaster Declaration by the Governor.
“I just want to clarify and make sure everyone understands that what we are talking about here is the Governor’s authority to go past that 30 days of emergency power. Whether you agree with the Governor or disagree with the Governor, we believe that a separate but equal branch of government, the General Assembly, should have input in the direction of the State of Illinois.
We are the ones who, are really the boots on the ground. I’m talking to constituents on a daily basis, some on all sides of the issues, and I think the Governor really needs that input. All this shouldn’t be on his shoulders. He does not have that authority after 30 days. We have to come back to the General Assembly, and we have to move forward together, it may be regionally, but as a state we have to make decisions.”
All three lawmakers say that local leaders need a say in a plan for a regional reopening of the state. Hammond says a regional reopening could be undertaken on the county level.
“We are seeing counties, certainly across central and southern Illinois, that are having discussions about how they can safely and responsibly do some phase in of reopening of their economies. Be it in phase zero, where we are currently at, phase one would do some modifications for some other businesses that could be opened in a safe manner, and those would be expanded as we go along. It also gives those counties the ability to pull back at any time that they would see a spike in the numbers in their counties.”
Davidsmeyer says he told the Governor at the beginning of the pandemic ordeal that he was “not looking to play politics” during the crisis, however communication from the Governor or his office has been lacking.
“I haven’t heard from the Governor, in fact I really haven’t heard from the Governor’s staff in almost a month. I’ve had contact with the different departments. The Governor called my Mayor, who is a friend of mine, but he has not reached out to me to discuss this.
I told him from day one, I said we are dealing with an emergency, I am not looking to play politics. I just want to be heard, I want you to understand what my constituents want and what they need. The communication has been extremely lack.”
The lawmakers say they believe the business of the general assembly needs to continue and cannot be fully undertaken remotely, and say proper precautions can be undertaken including not opening the capitol complex entirely to resume all in-person work, and members of the assembly taking precautions such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing to keep from spreading COVID-19 during sessions.