When the 102nd General Assembly is seated on Jan. 13, 2021, State Representative Amy Grant (R-Wheaton) wants legislative leaders to keep lawmakers in Springfield for the start of an in-person, normal session year. To that end, she is encouraging residents to sign a petition that urges Governor Pritzker and majority party leaders to set a full session calendar and bring legislators back to work.
“There is no good reason why the General Assembly cannot meet for face-to-face session days in 2021,” said Grant. “We held session in May with safety precautions in place, and not one legislator or staff member contracted COVID-19. I have faith in the Springfield staff and know they can create a safe environment for us again in January. If Congress and other state legislatures can meet safely, why can’t we?”
In May, Senators met at the Illinois Capitol and State Representatives met at the Bank of Springfield Center a few blocks away. Lawmakers were required to take a COVID-19 test before traveling to Springfield, and masks were required while on the session floor and in meetings. Desks were more than the recommended six feet apart, and hand sanitizer was available throughout the buildings and on legislators’ desks.
“Since May we have learned even more about this virus, so we have a better understanding of what protective measures are effective in preventing transmission,” added Grant. “We have to get back to work. My constituents did not elect me to be a sideline legislator. They elected me to serve as their voice, and since March of 2020 their voices have been silenced as the Governor has continued rule via executive order, completely shutting out the legislative branch.”
According to Grant, many critical issues must be addressed in early 2021, including next steps in the COVID-19 response, creating a pathway for all children to be back in school, addressing the budget shortfall, and looking into the many failings of the Pritzker administration during the health pandemic.
“We need hearings and audits into the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) failings and the complete breakdown of COVID-19 protocols that resulted in over 30 deaths at the LaSalle Veterans’ Home, and discussions about election integrity, unreasonable delays in the State Police’s FOID card and Concealed Carry Licensing system for lawful gun owners, and many other issues,” insisted Grant. “We must have a layer of accountability, or we will continue to see an erosion of our rights and a further deterioration of service delivery by state agencies and departments.”Click here to sign the petition.