Fresh off a double-digit re-election victory, IL Gov. JB Pritzker once again issued a Disaster Proclamation extending his executive powers related to the pandemic. This marks the 36th time he’s declared the state a disaster area.
The proclamation defends the governor’s use of emergency powers by citing the Illinois Constitution – more specifically, Article V Section 8 which states that “the Governor shall have the supreme executive power, and shall be responsible for the faithful execution of the laws.”
The proclamation goes a step further and states that the Illinois Constitution exists to “provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the people.”
Back in September, President Biden declared that “the pandemic is over.” However, Gov. Pritzker is making it clear through his continued use of executive orders and proclamations that the pandemic remains a public health emergency, and he’s declared all 102 counties a disaster area – again.
Just days before the November election, Gov. Pritzker, while speaking to the press was asked about mandating the COVID-19 vaccine for children in schools.
“We’re not currently requiring that [COVID-19 vaccine], that’s something that goes through the General Assembly – all of the vaccination requirements are heard by the General Assembly, decided upon by the General Assembly,” said Gov. Pritzker. “It’s obviously something we’re listening to doctors about and making sure we’re making the right decisions.”
However, this is not the role of the General Assembly to decide – this is a decision made by the Illinois Department of Public Health, whose director is hand-selected and appointed by Gov. Pritzker.
Illinois remains one of only 10 states and the only one in the Midwest still under COVID-19 emergency orders.