I try to keep these columns positive, but putting a positive spin on the legislature’s recent four-day session is a challenge. Bad votes and votes we should have taken but didn’t defined our time in Springfield.
I am happy to report, however, that public pressure on the Governor about his overly-restrictive “Restore Illinois” plan has had an effect. On three different occasions while we were in Springfield he announced eased restrictions to his reopening plan. As session was getting underway on May 20, we learned that an emergency rule issued by the Governor that would criminalize small business owners who violated his executive orders was rescinded. This emergency rule would have imposed a Class A Misdemeanor (a fine of up to $2,500 and up to 264 days in jail) on small businesses owners who reopened early.
The controversial provision evoked considerable public outcry and pushback by Illinois residents who felt the Governor had overstepped his authority. Legislative offices, mine included, received thousands of emails and hundreds of phone calls from Illinoisans who were irate that the Governor would take steps to criminalize business owners who were doing what they had to do to feed their families and keep their businesses afloat.
Picture Source: Positively Naperville Stock Photo