Pritzker Continues to Ignore School Boards, Legislators, and Constituents
Illinoisans are ready to take masks off and return to normal. However, Governor J.B. Pritzker, once again, delayed this process by extending Illinois’s disaster declaration by another thirty days on Friday.
This extension marks sixteen consecutive months in which Pritzker has used the 30-day disaster declaration, essentially rendering these declarations meaningless in Illinois. The definition of emergency is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. The ongoing management of COVID-19 is not an emergency. The Governor’s unending orders on the people of Illinois are unacceptable. No other state in the nation is tolerating this kind of tyranny from their Executive Office. I join with my Republican colleagues in demanding that Governor Pritzker relinquish his stranglehold on the state and send issues regarding COVID management to the legislature, and allow school districts to make decisions that best suit the needs of their communities and capacities of their local medical systems. We have elected representatives for a reason: to give the people a seat at the table. It is time to take back our seat.
Pritzker’s latest extension also signals a continuation of masking and social distancing may be required for schools in the Fall. Pritzker should be reminded that HB2789, which would have given the Illinois Department of Health control over the school procedures during a health emergency, was defeated when thousands of people filed witness slips opposing this one-size-fits-all mandate. School boards around the state are asking for clear guidance in order to make informed decisions – Pritzker’s month-at-a-time delays only add confusion.
This afternoon, State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville) released a statement addressing the extension.
“Pritzker is unilaterally making decisions that aren’t his to make. While he delays commitment to reopening by thirty days at a time, school boards are unable to make concrete plans for this coming school year. Parents and students deserve clear guidance, and to be represented by the legislators they elected, who understand their needs and values – not J.B. Pritzker.”