Rep. Butler Questions Pritzker Decision to Cancel State Fair without Local Input

Today Illinois Governor JB Pritzker announced the cancellation of the Illinois State Fair. State Representative Tim Butler (R-Springfield) questioned this unilateral action by the Governor and his failure to collaborate with the legislature and affected local communities before making the decision.

“I am tremendously disappointed the Governor has canceled the 2020 Illinois State Fair,” said Butler. “Through state law, the General Assembly has mandated that Illinois shall have state fairs in Springfield and DuQuoin. This decision is yet another one in which the Governor has exceeded his authority during the pandemic and will be in violation of state law.

“The Illinois State Fair is the premier annual event for the entire region surrounding our capital city. It has very special meaning here in my own Northend Springfield neighborhood, and the economic impact the State Fair has on our region has been estimated at over $86 million annually.

“I fully understand the seriousness of the health impact of COVID-19, yet this cancellation is another serious blow to the economy of Central Illinois. Springfield’s economy has been hit especially hard due to the cancellation of most of the General Assembly’s spring session, the shutdown of facilities such as the Bank of Springfield Center and State Fairgrounds, and the closure or work-at-home duties of most state government offices. 

“While I have had a couple of discussions with the Department of Agriculture regarding the potential for a 2020 Fair, this is yet another decision by the Governor without any real input from the legislature, and even more importantly, from my community of Springfield.

“I hope at some point the Governor will decide to have a true collaboration on these decisions, and that we will put as much emphasis on reinvigorating our economy as we have on combating the spread of this virus. I am always willing to work in a collaborative fashion, and I look forward to working on issues to help our struggling economy.”