After a year and a half of executive orders from Gov. J.B. Pritzker dealing with the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a state lawmaker is pleading to have his measure curbing that authority to be called for a vote.
On the Illinois House floor Tuesday, state Rep. Dan Ugaste, R-Geneva, urged for lawmakers to take up House Bill 843.
“All this bill would do is indicate an emergency stops after 30 days and after 30 days a governor has to get authority from the legislature to continue working under such an emergency,” Ugaste said.
He said he can’t get a hearing, despite having dozens of co-sponsors, and that discounts the job the people of Illinois expect their elected representatives to do.
“I’m hearing from constituents constantly day in and day out asking why the legislature isn’t involved in the decision making process in dealing with the current health situation,” he said. “We hear from them constantly. They can get in touch with us. They can’t always reach one person at the top who oversees the government for almost 13 million people.”
He questioned if, 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s still an emergency.
“I don’t deny science, I believe in science, and I want to see the science and data we’re told are being relied upon to make these decisions,” Ugaste said.
House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch’s office didn’t return messages seeking response to Ugaste’s call for the legislature to provide a check of the governor’s use of executive orders.