In a letter sent to Governor Pritzker on April 28, State Representative Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) and the women of the House Republican Caucus asked the Governor to call lawmakers to the Capitol to formulate a plan to move Illinois forward safely, reasonably, regionally and responsibly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Today, one week later, the group has received no response to the letter, their request for a meeting, or any indication that he intends to call for a special session.
The eight female legislators who comprise the House Republican Women’s Caucus are a business owners, scientists, mayors, lawyers, volunteers, officers, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, caregivers, and legislators. Together they represent nearly 900,000 Illinoisans from all regions of the state, from the Chicago suburbs to regions in northern, western, eastern, southern, and central Illinois.
“We have solid ideas for how we can safely reopen the Illinois economy, but the Governor has ignored our letter and our request for a meeting,” said Grant. “He keeps touting how he is working and talking with Republicans and Democrats, but he certainly hasn’t called me. My constituents are angry and want transparency and action from the Governor. Most importantly, they want their elected representative back in Springfield so their voice is part of the conversation of how Illinois moves forward.”
Grant said her office has been inundated with calls from district residents frustrated with the lack of clarity and inconsistencies in the Governor’s Executive Orders, on issues ranging from unemployment, housing losses, food insecurity, emergency preparedness, disease data, and the harm they are suffering from the lack of a clear plan moving forward. “The Governor needs to stop shutting out the other co-equal branches of government,” Grant added. “Co-equal branches of government provide a critical system of checks and balances that is absent right now. As a result, we have a Governor who is using a ‘one-size-fits-all’ response that lacks common sense and any acknowledgement whatsoever that some parts of the state are simply not seeing the illness numbers that Cook County is.”
Grant continued, saying, “The Governor has the authority to call us back to Springfield to craft legal, long term, solutions for our state, but is choosing not to do so. Our representative form of government provides a voice for every Illinoisan in every county and town. But from the start of this pandemic response, the only voice being heard is his. The rest of us have essentially been silenced. It’s time for the legislature to reconvene so we can work together to formulate a safe plan for Illinois’ next steps.”
A copy of the letter can be found here.