State Representative Tim Butler, joined by several members of the Illinois General Assembly, sent a letter to Governor JB Pritzker today calling on him to stop running the state by Executive Order after Illinois enters Phase 5: Illinois Restored of the Governor’s COVID-19 reopening plan.
Citing the language of Phase 5, which specifies the availability of a vaccine, effective treatment, and a full reopening of the economy, the letter also highlights statistics and the body of research showing the effectiveness of the vaccines and that vaccinated people do not need to wear masks in the overwhelming majority of situations. As it stands today, more than 68% percent of Illinoisans have received at least one vaccine dose already, which puts us on pace to easily exceed the President’s 70% vaccination goal by July.
“Taking all of these facts into account,” Butler and the signatories of the letter state, “we are pleased to see we are finally fully reopening our economy and allowing Illinoisans to return to their normal lives. However, if Phase 5 really does mean Illinois is Restored, then there is another issue that must be resolved – your continued issuance of Executive Orders. Even though we will be in Phase 5 on June 11, your most recent Executive Order extending various restrictions, your eightieth COVID-19 Executive Order, will run through June 26.”
The letter concludes by saying, “If our state is truly Restored, it is time to stop running the state by executive authority and return it to a fully representative government in which the duly elected representatives of the people – the General Assembly – is a co-equal branch of government with the executive. Therefore, we call on you to stop issuing Executive Orders when EXECUTIVE ORDER 2021-11 expires on June 26.”
As Butler and the signatories of the letter note, Illinois cannot be “Restored” while still being run by executive authority, as it has been for more than fourteen months now. The full text of the letter sent to the Governor is available by below.