One of Illinoisâ€™ top Republicans said Friday that bringing lawmakers back to Springfield could help de-escalate mounting tensions over the governorâ€™s stay-at-home order.
State Sen. Bill Brady, the Senate minority leader from Bloomington, said he wants to see lawmakers return to Springfield to address a â€œminimalâ€ list of emergent issues, including some appropriations work related to incoming money from the federal rescue package.
Brady also sees a connection between returning to work and the lawsuits filed by two Republican House members in opposition to Gov. JB Pritzkerâ€™s stay-at-home order.
â€œThatâ€™s even more reason for the General Assembly to do its work,â€ Brady said Friday. â€œThereâ€™d be less frustration than there is with just the governor making these decisions. If we play our role as a co-equal branch of government, I think the people would be more accepting of what weâ€™d have to do to work our way through this.â€
Brady said Senate Republicans sought legal counsel to advise their caucus, and â€œby and large the consensus of the legal opinions we got was that (Pritzker) has these rights.â€
Brady said he was pleased to see Pritzkerâ€™s latest stay-at-home order modified to allow for elective surgeries to resume and state parks to reopen. Next, Brady said he wants to see a more â€œphased inâ€ and â€œregionalâ€ approach to open even more businesses, such as hygiene services. Thatâ€™s similar to what other Republicans in Illinois have sought.
â€œIf the grocery stores can operate safely, and we wouldnâ€™t allow them to if they couldnâ€™t, so can the General Assembly. So can some other businesses that are â€˜nonessentialâ€™ in the executive order but essential to the livelihood of their employees and customers,â€ Brady said.
Thirty-one days of May, he said, is a long time.
â€œWe need to look at the state as a work in progress. Itâ€™s my hope, and Iâ€™m sure itâ€™s the governorâ€™s hope, that cases and loss of life diminish in a faster way than he anticipates, which allows us to move more quickly into phasing in economic opportunities and livelihoods in a safe way,â€ Brady said.