Today’s updates discusses plans for the Illinois General Assembly to reconvene. Additionally, this update discusses Adams County’s resolution to reopen, and Governor Pritzker’s response to Illinois counties defying his stay-at-home order. Further, the Governor has reached an agreement with the Archdiocese of Chicago to resume services; yet, a federal judge denied a request for a temporary restraining order sought by two churches seeking to resume services.
- Illinois’ House and Senate have announced that lawmakers will reconvene next week. Lawmakers will meet in Springfield starting Wednesday, May 20, to begin discussing COVID-19 related budget and emergency legislation. The House will meet in Springfield’s Convention Center, while the Senate will meet at the Capitol. The buildings will likely be closed to anyone other than the members of the General Assembly and key staff members. The legislative bodies issued a Joint Proclamation, stating the House and Senate will only be considering bills related to the budget, COVID-19, economic recovery, infrastructure projects and their funding, hospital assessment programs, laws scheduled to be repealed by June 1, 2021, and mail-in voting for the 2020 General Election. The Joint Proclamation can be read here.
- As reported yesterday, Madison and Adams Counties voted to reopen their economies, contrary to the statewide stay-at-home order. (Yesterday’s update, with a link to the Madison County resolution, is available here.) The Adams County resolution includes requesting modifications to Governor Pritzker’s Restore Illinois phase plan. First, the board wants “the Governor’s 28-day phasing window [to be] reduced to a 14-day window.” Next, the board would like the state to “be broken down in Emergency Medical Service Regions, as opposed to the Governor’s plan that goes by hospital capacity.” And finally, the resolution requests a change to the period from which data will be collected to determine if a region is ready to move to the next phase. The Adams County Board “asks that the medical measurements should begin on March 20. . . and not on May 1.” For more information, visit https://wgem.com/2020/05/12/adams-county-board-passes-resolution-seeking-to-modify-governors-stay-at-home-order/.
- Governor Pritzker sternly warned communities acting to defy the stay-at-home order that local officials “weren’t elected to do what’s easy; [they] were elected to do what’s right.” Governor Pritzker further warned that communities and businesses defying the statewide order will suffer consequences, noting that licenses will be at risk and police can take action. For more information, visit https://abc7chicago.com/illinois-coronavirus-how-many-new-cases-of-in-by-day-update/6181604/.
- Governor Pritzker has faced continuous pressure to reopen the state, especially from places of worship that would like to resume Sunday services. This week, the Archdiocese of Chicago and the dioceses of Rockford, Joliet, and Peoria reached an agreement with the office of the Governor to begin a multi-phased reopening as soon as May 23. For more information and a detailed plan of the phased re-opening, visit https://www.archchicago.org/coronavirus/reopening.
- A federal judge has denied two Northern Illinois churches, Elim Romanian Pentecostal and Logos Baptist Ministries, a temporary restraining order. As previously reported, the two churches asked a federal court to allow services to resume despite Governor Pritzker’s stay-at-home order. Judge Robert Gettleman stated that the request was “both ill-founded and selfish,” further stating that a restraining order “would risk the lives of congregants. . . their family members, friends, co-workers and other members of their communities with whom they come in contact.” This is the second ruling by a federal judge supporting the governor’s stay-at-home order, stating that the “interest in communal services cannot outweigh the health and safety of the public.” A notice of appeal has been filed. The order issued by Judge Gettleman can be read here.
HeplerBroom attorney Emilee M. Bramstedt contributed to this blog post.