SPRINGFIELD – With yet another late-night vote, Senate Democrat leaders forced through a bill Oct. 28 that will empower the state’s Executive Branch to reduce the freedoms of the Illinoisans they represent.
Senate Bill 1169 narrows the scope of the Health Care Right of Conscience Act (HCRCA), a decades-old law that allows individuals to refuse to take part in healthcare services that are contrary to their religious beliefs, morals, or otherwise contrary to their conscience.
Approved Oct. 28 by a vote of 31-24, Senate Bill 1169 codifies that it is not a violation of the HCRCA if any entities, namely employers, enforce any measures or requirements on employees to prevent the contraction or transmission of COVID-19.
State Sen. Brian Stewart (R-Freeport), who voted against Senate Bill 1169, released a statement following the vote:
“The Health Care Right of Conscience Act has for decades protected Illinoisans whose strongly-held personal beliefs run counter to some directives. And members of both parties have also supported the contents and the ideas of the HCRCA for years.
Then this Governor comes along and doesn’t like that Illinoisans are standing up for their rights. Instead of expanding his thinking to consider someone else’s point of view, he is changing the rules. He and Democrat legislative leaders are changing the HCRCA so the Governor can enforce HIS mandates, so he can win court cases against his own citizens.
Over the course of almost two years, this Governor has issued nearly 100 Executive Orders that affect every aspect of people’s daily lives, with no oversight from lawmakers duly elected to represent Illinoisans. We are now at a point where the people have had enough.”
Already approved by the House of Representatives on Oct. 27, Senate Bill 1169 now moves to the Governor for consideration.