With Illinois Legislature Not Officially Meeting, Governor Pritzker Left To Run State Without Co-Equal Check And Balance

ILLINOIS — A letter was sent today to speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives Michael J. Madigan (D) requesting that the Illinois House of Representative convene for Regular Session beginning Tuesday, May 5, 2020, or prior.

The letter comes as the Illinois legislature is not officially meeting or taking up the much needed and critical legislation for Illinoisans, due to COVID, but rather, deferring to the Governor to run the State exclusively,without the input of the co-equal branch — the Illinois General Assembly.

Illinois State Representative of the 891h District, Andrew Chesney (R), wrote to Madigan today saying constituents demand the legislature re-assert its role as a co-equal branch of Illinois’ state government, designed to provide critical checks and balances.

“This week alone, public policy actions have been taken which redirect where we are headed in addressing the COVID pandemic by two of the three branches of Illinois’ government. The only branch stunningly silent during this crisis, is the branch which you and I serve in-the legislative branch”, Chesney told the speaker in his letter.

Chesney’s added, “The United States Congress as well as a myriad of state general assemblies, including Virginia, New Jersey and others, have worked through potential roadblocks to holding Session during the pandemic. ” Chesney feels Illinois needs to do the same.

The entire letter sent to speaker Madigan is below;

Dear Speaker Madigan:

Please consider this my urgent request to convene the Illinois House of Representative for Regular Session beginning Tuesday, May 5, 2020, or prior, to address important issues related to the State of Illinois’ response to the COVID-19 global pandemic, as well as any other regular business to be conducted, including working toward passage of a FY 21 State Budget to take effect July 1, 2020. I request that we meet, in Springfield, under proper social distancing guidelines and with safety at the forefront for legislators, staff members and employees.

Our constituents’ demand that the legislature re-asserts its role as a co-equal branch of Illinois’ state government, designed to provide critical checks and balances to the other two co-equal branches as well as being charged with annually establishing a revenue estimate and passing a State Budget. You have been an ardent supporter of the belief that the legislature is a co-equal branch, as asserted in a number of your commencement speeches following your repeated inaugurations as Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. I know that you understand and take seriously your role in preserving this important system of checks and balances that you, in your official role as a delegate to the 1970 Constitutional Convention, helped “bake in” to our State Constitution.

This week alone, public policy actions have been taken which redirect where we are headed in addressing the COVID pandemic by two of the three branches of Illinois’ government. The only branch stunningly silent during this crisis, is the branch which you and I serve in-the legislative branch.

The United States Congress as well as a myriad of state general assemblies, including Virginia, New Jersey and others, have worked through potential roadblocks to holding Session during the pandemic. While I recognize the Illinois Constitution does not allow for remote legislating, there are a variety of ways in which the legislature could meet in Springfield, practice social distancing and still do the business of the people of Illinois.

Again, I respectfully request you call the Illinois House into Regular Session on or before Tuesday, May 5, 2020. I look forward to your prompt response to my request.

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