The Governor’s plan to re-open Illinois needs the input of all of the state’s diverse regions, not just large cities, and Senator Brian Stewart says legislative leaders must schedule a public hearing on the plan when lawmakers return to Springfield next week.
Senator Stewart’s comments follow a letter sent May 14 by Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady to Senate President Don Harmon, requesting a public hearing next week with the Governor’s staff to let lawmakers ask how they came to the conclusions in their re-opening plan, and what revisions they would accept to help get the state’s economy back on track more quickly.
As a result of continued pressure by local, state and legislative Republican leaders, the General Assembly will return to Springfield May 20-22 to address concerns facing Illinois as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as work on other time-sensitive issues and a state budget for the next fiscal year.
“We have a number of issues that need action by lawmakers – like a state budget for the upcoming fiscal year – that should have been allowed several weeks of study with input from all lawmakers and Illinois residents. We now are being told that we have to make these decisions in three days with information that is being controlled by a Governor and legislative leaders from Chicago,” Senator Stewart said. “We can hope for the best, but we must have sufficient time to study the plans, and all lawmakers must be allowed some say in the drafting of these plans.”
The 45th District Senator says he also wants to have much more input into fiscal decisions – for the current Fiscal Year and for Fiscal Year 2021 – that are needed to address staggering state revenue shortfalls that are the result of back-to-back stay-at-home government-ordered shutdowns that have also cut deeply into many residents’ income earnings.
Senator Stewart said a re-opening plan with the potential to impact the lives of so many, and which aims to balance public safety concerns with the economic well-being of Illinois, should receive input from the co-equal Executive and Legislative branches of state government.
Residents can voice their support for a public hearing by signing a petition at https://senatorstewart.com/sign-the-petition.