(The Center Square) – A measure dealing with emergency powers that's up for a vote in the Illinois House doesn’t address the looming question about whether the governor can issue rolling emergency declarations beyond an initial 30 days.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home orders he originally issued in March have been extended multiple times and expire May 30. He said it was necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier this month, he released a five-phased plan to reopen the state’s economy. The state’s four regions laid out in the plan are on track to enter Phase 3 with more operations opening up.
Republicans have pushed for legislative hearings on the plan. They’ve also proposed their own reopening plans. This is while local governments across the state issue their own ideas.
A House amendment to Senate Bill 2135 creates the Government Emergency Administration Act and is up for a vote in the Illinois House. If passed there, it’d need a concurrence vote by the Senate.
The measure creates the Restore Illinois Collaborative Commission Act. That group will monitor the Pritzker administration during his “Restore Illinois Plan,” and would advise the General Assembly of any need for legislative action.
The commission will consist of 22 members, seven from each Democratic majority leader and four from each Republican minority leader of the state legislature. Democrats would have a majority of members on the commission.
Beginning July 1, the measure requires the governor to submit monthly reports to the newly created commission. The Act would be repealed July 1, 2021.
The measure also codifies other executive orders from the governor like allowing remote participation in meetings of public bodies. It also provides liability exceptions for delayed public records request responses retroactive from March 9, 2020, to June 1, 2020.
Emergency powers are also modified for the Secretary of State, like extending the validity of driver’s licenses, permits and ID cards when there’s an emergency declaration due to a pandemic or similar ciris.