Archive for the ‘Pritzker’s Rules of Order’ Category

“The pushback builds. And that levee is just about to break.”

“If you’d told me six months ago that the governor of Illinois would declare churches ‘nonessential’ and shut them down, while liquor stores are ‘essential’ and open, I’d have asked what blend of weed you were smoking,” Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society told me.

What we’ve been smoking? Fear. It’s all been tightly rolled in the scraps of the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. We’ve been inhaling deeply for months.

And the leaders of the lockdown party — Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot — are on the verge of losing control. Rookie politicians make rookie mistakes.

Pritzker’s initial stay-at-home-order, in March, did not consider worship services as essential. But after the Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit on behalf of a church in Lena, Illinois, the governor scrambled to modify his order. Pritzker allowed worship services but imposed social distancing guidelines and limited the free exercise of religion to only 10 or fewer people at a time.

Read more here.

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State Rep. David McSweeney is asking the U.S. Attorney General to review the governor’s stay-at-home guidelines, which McSweeney called “overreaching and unconstitutional directives.”

In a letter McSweeney sent Wednesday to U.S. Attorney General William Barr, the Barrington Hills Republican expressed concerns about the lengths Gov. JB Pritzker might go to enforce his stay-at-home order. Specifically, McSweeney alleged the governor would withhold federal funds, revoke business licenses, restrain religious freedoms and charge business owners with a crime to enforce his emergency orders.

McSweeney said Pritzker considered all options to enforce the stay-at-home order, including withholding federal funding. He said in the letter that Pritzker’s actions deprive Illinois residents of emergency funding that was allocated to local governments in the fight against COVID-19.

“This should not be allowed,” he said.

Read more here.

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Palatine, Buffalo Grove, Arlington Heights and Hoffman Estates passed resolutions Monday calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to alter facets of the Restore Illinois plan in an effort to help businesses. “As I said, nobody’s looking to go rogue here,” Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz said. (Paul Valade | Staff Photographer, Feburary 2020)

Palatine, Arlington Heights and Hoffman Estates passed resolutions Monday calling on Gov. J.B. Pritzker to alter the Restore Illinois plan in an effort to help businesses.

“As I said, nobody’s looking to go rogue here,” Palatine Mayor Jim Schwantz said. “This is not something we’re looking to do. … There is not one bit of interest in turning this into a political deal. We’re abiding by the governor’s orders. We’ve abided from the very beginning. That’s not going to change.”

However, in Wheeling, where the village board discussed the Restore Illinois plan but did not put a resolution up for a vote Monday night, Trustee Joseph Vito accused Pritzker of overstepping his authority and suggested suing the state — a move his colleagues did not support.

Vito also questioned Pritzker’s plan for not allowing for gatherings of more than 50 people until Phase 5, assuming a vaccine or viable treatment for COVID-19.

Read more here, but also ask yourself where has Karen Darch been recently?

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Determined to keep their students, faculty and staff safe from the COVID-19 virus, officials at Harper College have announced that classes for the fall 2020 semester will be offered “primarily online.”

In a statement recently posted on the Palatine-based community college’s website, officials said the decision to keep the campus “mostly” closed was made “to protect our students, faculty and staff,” with most courses to be taught online for fall, and some featuring live class meetings.

“Some classes will require students to attend live, online class meetings at a set time,” officials said. “These courses will be fully online but will require you to be online and connected by webcam and microphone at set times.”

Administrators at other area colleges and universities have said they’re anticipating a combination of in-person and online classes in the fall, though many schools are still sorting out those details.

Read more here.

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The Village offices will reopen tomorrow, May 19, with the following guidelines due to current events:

  • Refrain from entering the building if exhibiting symptoms or feeling ill.
  • Maintain a 6-foot distance between village staff and other members of the public
  • All persons (older than 2 years of age) interacting with staff are required to bring and wear a face covering.
  • Groups of people visiting Village Hall/PD to conduct business for the same project will be limited to two people.
  • Respect room capacity limits
  • Use provided hand sanitizer if able

Our Village Board of Trustees will be meeting tomorrow as well, and a copy of their agenda can be viewed and downloaded here.

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An agency representing 42 suburbs, including Schaumburg and Arlington Heights, has asked Gov. J.B. Pritzker to put them in a different region than Chicago in his Restore Illinois plan, and to cut in half one of the requirements to move to the next phase of recovery from coronavirus restrictions.

The Northwest Municipal Conference asked that the required number of days of a decrease in COVID-19-like hospital admissions be reduced to 14 from 28 to be able to move to the next reopening phase.

But some collar county health officials and some members of the conference itself are defending the details of the governor’s plan.

Among the 43 members of the conference — 42 suburbs as well as Northfield Township — 34 participated in a meeting Wednesday at which 20 supported the position, 12 were opposed and two abstained, Executive Director Mark Fowler said. A letter was sent to the governor Friday.

Read more here.

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To maximize participation, the state should mail a ballot to every registered voter. At the same time, it will be critical to preserve and protect in-person voting options.

This year’s primary election season will go down in history as the time American voters braved the threat of a deadly virus in order to cast their ballots. 

Amid rising calls for the public to stay home and avoid crowds to stem the coronavirus outbreak, some states chose to delay their elections while others forged ahead. Fear, anger and confusion reigned, regardless of the decision. With November fast approaching, this much is clear: We must rethink our democracy’s reliance on in-person Election Day voting.

Illinois dealt with widespread confusion on its March 17 Election Day, from poorly communicated last-minute polling location changes to a shortage of poll workers and cleaning supplies. These inefficiencies created long lines and big crowds, heightening the risks for poll workers and voters alike.

In a March 30 poll, roughly two in three U.S. adults said they were uncomfortable with the idea of voting in person. Yet voters in Wisconsin were forced to stand in line for hours to vote on April 7, after Gov. Tony Evers’ last-minute order to delay the election was blocked by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. At least seven cases of coronavirus in the state have now been linked to Election Day.

Wisconsin’s experience makes it clear that last-minute changes can disenfranchise voters and put the public at risk. It’s impossible to rule out a lingering COVID-19 or a resurgent second wave, so it’s urgent that we prepare for November’s consequential election like the emergency that it is. Illinois will need to do more to ensure the safety of in-person voting, to promote alternative voting options and to prepare election authorities for increased demand for such alternatives.

So what’s right for Illinois moving forward?

Read the Better Government Association article here.

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