On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Mike Madigan’s Chief of Staff announced that the fall veto session has been canceled due to concerns over COVID-19 and proximity to the upcoming holidays. In response to the announcement, State Representative Steve Reick (R-Woodstock) issued the following statement:
“No one is discounting the severity of COVID-19, especially now that we are in the midst of a second wave. However, we were able to meet safely in May and, with proper precautions, we can meet safely now. We have a top-notch Springfield staff that pulled together a safe environment in May that included testing, mask mandates, an abundance of hand sanitizer, and more than enough room to practice social distancing. Not one legislator contracted COVID-19 during our session in May, so we know full well the staff is capable of pulling this off.
“I can’t help but wonder if the cancelation has more to do with political unrest within the House Democratic caucus than it has to do with health and safety. I certainly hope that’s not the case, because it would be a great injustice if Speaker Madigan has placed his political problems ahead of our ability to do the people’s work during a scheduled veto session. We have a multi-billion dollar budget hole to fill and we need to be in session in order to have a voice in crafting a solution. In addition, I mentioned in a recent letter to the Governor that we need to return to Springfield so we can hit the reset button on our COVID-19 response and work together on a better plan.”