Legislative News from Rep. Amy Grant

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We have to put Illinoisans back to work. Businesses cannot stay closed forever. If you have an idea for how we can put people back to work while protecting the publics’ health, please share it through this portal. We are collecting any and all ideas so we can continue to present viable options for moving toward economic recovery. Click here to share your ideas.

Stay Home Order to Extend through May 30

Yesterday Governor Pritzker announced he will extend the Illinois Stay Home Order until May 30. Along with the extension, the Governor did announce a few modest changes to the Order. Many of these changes were recommendations made by House Republicans in a letter sent to the Governor by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin based on discussions over the last few weeks.

While I’m pleased with most of the changes to the order, I feel the Governor did not go nearly far enough to help small businesses that are on the brink of financial ruin. We can and should open up our economy where it makes sense and can be done safely with proper health measures in place. There are businesses facing the real possibility of permanent closure and we must take steps to restore the livelihoods of these job creators. My hope is that prior to the new Stay Home Order taking effect on May 1, the Governor will revisit his list of modifications and allow small businesses that can easily enforce social distancing and use heightened cleaning regimens to reopen and call their employees back to work.

The new provisions in the Pritzker Stay Home Order that takes effect on May 1 include:

FACE COVERINGS: Beginning on May 1, individuals will be required to wear a face-covering or a mask when in a public place where they can’t maintain a six-foot social distance. Face-coverings will be required in public indoor spaces, such as stores. This new requirement applies to all individuals over the age of two who are able to medically tolerate a face-covering or a mask.

OUTDOOR RECREATION: State parks will begin a phased re-opening under guidance from the Department of Natural Resources. Fishing and boating in groups of no more than two people will be permitted. A list of parks that will be open on May 1 and additional guidelines can be found on the Illinois Department of Natural Resources website HERE . Golf will be permitted under strict safety guidelines provided by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and when ensuring that social distancing is followed.

NEW ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES: Greenhouses, garden centers and nurseries may re-open as essential businesses. These stores must follow social distancing requirements and must require that employees and customers wear a face covering. Animal grooming services may also re-open.

NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL: Retail stores now designated as non-essential businesses and operations may re-open to fulfill telephone and online orders through pick-up outside the store and delivery.

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES AND MANUFACTURING: Essential businesses and manufacturers will be required to provide face-coverings to all employees who are not able to maintain six-feet of social distancing, as well as follow new requirements that maximize social distancing and prioritize the well-being of employees and customers. This will include occupancy limits for essential businesses and precautions such as staggering shifts and operating only essential lines for manufacturers.

SCHOOLS: Educational institutions may allow and establish procedures for pick-up of necessary supplies or student belongings. Dormitory move-outs must follow public health guidelines, including social distancing.

The Illinois Department of Public Health will also be issuing guidance to surgi-centers and hospitals to allow for certain elective surgeries for non-life-threatening conditions, starting on May 1. Facilities will need to meet specific criteria, including proper PPE, ensuring enough overall space for COVID-19 patients remains available, and testing of elective surgery patients to ensure COVID-19 negative status.