State Senator Sue Rezin (R-Morris) and State Representative La Shawn Ford (D-Chicago) joined together to call on Senate President Don Harmon and House Speaker Michael Madigan to call a joint hearing of the General Assembly to discuss the stateâ€™s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
â€œWe are now eight months into this pandemic. It is well past time for the General Assembly who is a coequal branch to take a more active role in the management of this pandemic," said Sen. Rezin. â€œLegislative hearings will allow the public to hear directly from the Governor's Office, state and local public health officials, small businesses, and other impacted stakeholders about what exactly goes into the decision-making process for our state's response. In addition to providing the public with much needed transparency, these hearings will finally give legislators the opportunity to directly ask the Administration about the data and assumptions they choose to use. For too long, we have been left in the dark with more questions than answers. This has been particularly true when it comes to the Administration's mitigation rules.â€
Enhanced mitigation has been imposed across the state that disproportionately impacts the hospitality industry despite contradictory claims from local health departments about their role in spreading the virus.
â€œThe surge in positive COVID-19 cases in Illinois forced the cancellation of the Fall Veto Session,â€ said Rep. Ford. â€œThe General Assembly canâ€™t leave the weight of this virus on the back of the executive branch. In order to protect the well-being of Illinoisans, we need a bipartisan and bicameral plan working with the executive branch.â€
Additionally, the two legislators are encouraging Governor Pritzker to join with the General Assembly as an equal partner by supporting public legislative hearings and agreeing to make state officials and consultants available.
Sen. Rezin and Rep. Ford sent the three legislative leaders a letter urging them to act upon their request to establish a joint Senate-House public hearing on the management related to COVID-19. You can view a copy of that letter here.