Why Do We Need the Illinois General Assembly if We Have a King?

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Written by Abigail Ruth

The news in Illinois these days is grim to say the least. A few days ago Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker announced a plan to ‘Restore’ Illinois that, if actually followed, will surely destroy whatever is left of both our God-given and constitutionally protected civil rights and our livelihoods. According to the governor, ‘normal’ will not return to Illinois until we have a vaccine or a drug that he deems “highly effective.”

If we take the him at his word, it’s quite possible that normal will never return to Illinois.  There are no guarantees a vaccine will ever be developed, and according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, it’s at least 12-18 months away. When it comes to treatment, who knows what the governor will or will not deem “highly effective.” The governor has now moved the goalposts three times. Initially, the stated goal was to flatten the curve so that our healthcare system would not be overwhelmed. Then we were told we must stay shut down in order to “preserve public health.” Now we must apparently eradicate the disease entirely.

In any case, what will be left of Illinois by the time the governor is done with it won’t resemble normal in the least. As of this writing, 912,000 workers have already sought unemployment since the governor ordered businesses closed on March 20th. That’s a whopping 14 percent of the Illinois workforce. Even if Illinois businesses were released tomorrow, I’m afraid the tsunami of job losses and business closings has just begun. Successive waves of economic destruction will reverberate into the coming months and years. Economic models are conspicuously absent during Pritzker’s daily briefings.

In fact, throughout this whole disaster Pritzker has seemed to be in no hurry at all to reopen Illinois and simply rolls merrily along adding insult to injury. At the end of April he released 4000 prisoners, including murderers, rapists and perpetrators of domestic violence, into the general public. Isn’t prison the ultimate shelter-in-place option?

Now in another chilling nod toward a completely dystopian future he has proposed a massive $80,000,000 program to hire “an army” of nearly 4000 state workers to track anyone who came into contact with people who test positive for COVID-19. What will these ‘trackers’ do? Let’s hope they don’t take a cue from the director of Ventura County, CA Public Health, who wanted to remove infected people from their homes and isolate them. A firestorm of protest has since caused this man to change his mind, but it is an indication of the way many of our public health officials think. It is also the reason why they should provide input but never make final decisions on public policy.

On April 30th, Governor Pritzker made the extraordinary request of the Illinois Supreme Court to rule that he may extend his sweeping power indefinitely. I wouldn’t place much hope in the courts to restrain him. Although the law plainly states that the governor may invoke emergency powers “for a period not to exceed 30 days,” U.S. Judge John Z. Lee agreed with Pritzker’s lawyers in another recent court ruling. The judge said that emergency events “may persist for long periods of time” and that it is “difficult to see why the Legislature would recognize these long-running problems as disasters, yet divest the governor of the tools he needs to address them.” Because that might sound somewhat alarming to those of us who are concerned about civil rights, he comfortingly added, “once an emergency has abated, the governor’s emergency powers will cease.” It has apparently escaped the good judge’s notice that it is the governor himself who declares emergencies, in theory leaving Pritzker free to extend his own power indefinitely.

I could perhaps understand some of this if COVID-19 were like Ebola. But it’s not. In fact, it is turning out to be a mere shadow of the plague which was initially predicted and upon which the shutdown was predicated. This is great news and so much better than we had ever hoped. We can certainly protect the relatively small number of people who are truly at risk in other ways. Our resources should be focused on them. The rest of us need to get back to work soon or we won’t have any resources. All this brings me to my final point.

Our governor–who is our employee–is out-of-control. With apparently no oversight or input from the Illinois General Assembly, J.B. Pritzker is single-handedly determining the future of millions upon millions of Illinois families. Where are our representatives? Where are the people who are supposed to be speaking for us in Springfield? Outside of a handful of exceptions such as State Representatives Darren Bailey (R- ) and John Cabello (R-Loves Park) there is silence. At this point the Democrat super-majority isn’t even functioning as the usual rubber stamp. Apparently even rubber stamps are no longer needed.

Most of our legislators are apparently obediently awaiting permission from the governor to return to their duties. Does he even need them any longer? Do we even need them? Why have a General Assembly if we have a king?

Read more:

Judge John Z. Lee Ignores the Expressed Will of the Legislative Branch

Illinois Governor Says Churches May Not Fully Reopen For a Year or More Because of Coronavirus

The Church, the Coronavirus and the Constitution

State Rep Argues “There Has To Be A Better Way” To Re-Open Illinois

Governor Pritzker’s Plan to Reopen Illinois Makes No Sense



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