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 Jim Oberweis says legislative leaders must schedule a public hearing on the plan when lawmakers return to Springfield next week.
Senator Oberweis’ 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 the staff 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.
“Governor J.B. Pritzker’s plan as it stands is too little, too late, and could very well mean the closing of many local small businesses. However, as we are going to be in Springfield next week, what better time to improve on the plan with input by lawmakers from ALL regions of our state, instead of decisions made solely by the Executive Branch,” Senator Oberweis said. “Illinois has three branches of government, not just one.”
The 25th District Senator says he 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.
“What we are hearing from the Governor’s office is that he wants more money from Washington, D.C., that he wants federal tax revenues to help shore up the economic disaster he helped create by shutting the state down so completely for more than two months,” Senator Oberweis said. “No one is doubting his desire to keep Illinois residents safe, but he is using a one-size-fits-all approach that is strangling our communities.”
Senator Oberweis 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://senatoroberweis.com/sign-the-petition.