In a letter to Governor Pritzker today, State Representative Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst) and the women of the House Republican Caucus outlined ways to move Illinois forward safely, reasonably, regionally and responsibly in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. These legislators have served as “business owners, scientists, mayors, lawyers, community organizers, volunteers, officers, mothers, sisters, grandmothers, caregivers,” and “represent 880,000 Illinoisans across all regions of the state—from the Chicago suburbs to regions in northern, western, eastern, southern, and central Illinois.”
Mazzochi explained that Illinois faces “unprecedented issues, involving a virus not known to most of the world for more than a few months.” Her office has been inundated with calls from district residents frustrated with the lack of clarity in the Governor’s Executive Orders, on issues ranging from housing losses; food insecurity; unemployment; emergency preparedness; disease data; and the harm they are suffering from the lack of a clear plan moving forward. While a court ruling yesterday temporarily enjoined some of the Governor’s orders for exceeding statutory powers, Mazzochi warned that this “is not a time for our governor to make unilateral decisions.” So far, the Governor has declined to speak with any of the House Republican women during the pandemic about his Executive Orders and future responses.
While House Speaker Mike Madigan has serially cancelled legislative sessions since the COVID-19 panic began, Mazzochi reminded that “the Governor can call us back to Springfield to craft legal, long term, solutions for our state. The legislative process gives a voice to people from every town and county.” In other states and at the federal level, legislatures have been in session for the past several weeks. “We have a duty to get back to Springfield and get the necessary work done to help the people of Illinois,” Mazzochi reiterated.
The women legislators’ letter offered multiple recommendations for the state to reemerge from this pandemic, including expanded health care access and empowering local government “with input from community and economic leaders.”
“The Legislature has to get Illinois focusing on the future. We need to start taking steps that are safe, reasonable, regional, and responsible so we don’t make our state worse off. All stakeholders deserve to have their voices heard so that we can protect our residents, give them a transparent path for the next several months, with clear standards, and the ability to plan their lives going forward,” Mazzochi said.
A copy of the letter can be found here.