Davidsmeyer: Governor Exceeds Executive Authority by Extending Stay-At-Home Order beyond 30 Days

Jacksonville, IL…Assistant Republican Leader C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) held an online press conference with House Republican legislators today to discuss Governor J.B. Pritzker’s executive action to extend the stay-at-home order past his original thirty day proclamation.

“Illinois statutes clearly state in Section 7 of the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act that the Governor can issue a thirty-day disaster proclamation,” Davidsmeyer said. “While the Act is silent on extending disaster proclamations beyond 30 days, I have a hard time believing that the General Assembly would give unlimited renewals of that extreme power. The Governor should seek the approval of the General Assembly to extend the stay-at-home order more than 30 days.”

The Illinois House of Representatives was scheduled to be in session this week, but was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic and stay-at-home order.

“The Illinois House hasn’t met since the first week of March. Eighteen days of session have been cancelled, but other Midwestern states are convening their legislatures and discussing their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is past time for Speaker Madigan to call the House to return to discuss how we move the State forward,” said Davidsmeyer. 

“I believe that the Governor lacks the legal authority to continue to pass these emergency executive orders, completely going around a co-equal branch of government, the General Assembly. There is a reason why the General Assembly, years ago, decided to put a limit on the emergency powers of the Governor, and it’s not because they wanted him to run the State alone.

“While Illinois may be under one-party rule, the co-equal branches of government should still be acting as a check and balance. I urge the Speaker of the House and the Senate President to get back in the game and stop abdicating the responsibility of each and every elected legislator.