CHICAGO —The Republican legislative leaders in Illinois have been careful not to criticize the Pritzker administration during COVID-19 emergency. But with Monday’s ruling that Governor JB Pritzker may have overstepped his authority, GOP leaders are now starting to question why lawmakers are not more involved.
Another Republican State Representative is gearing up to sue Pritzker.
Representative John Cabello is preparing a class-action lawsuit challenging the stay-at-home order.
“I’m tired of him getting up there and saying whatever he wants to say without anybody challenging him,” he said. “He’s acting like a dictator, not a governor.”
Cabello’s move follows the bombshell ruling by a Clay County Circuit Court Judge that Pritzker does not have the legal authority to force Representative Darren Bailey to stay home the past 30 days.
The decision only applies to Bailey, but it clears the way for others to file suit.
Pritzker said the state will appeal and called the suit “a cheap political stunt.”
“I heard the governor’s response to Rep. Bailey’s lawsuit – that this is putting people’s lives in danger – I call bulls**t,” Cabello said. “This lawsuit, once we file, is only going to see if it’s constitutional or not for him to do what he’s doing.”
The Springfield Republican leaders decline to say whether they agree, but they’re demanding the legislature play a bigger role managing the COVID-19 crisis.
Tuesday, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin floated the possibility of lawmakers meeting in Springfield to amend their rules to allow remote voting.
“Pivoting to whether or not the governor has exceeded his legal authority, I’m going to let the courts make that decision. I did support the governor’s stay-at-home order,” he said. “A lot of my members and myself are starting to realize that this co-equal branch of government hasn’t been quite equal recently.”
In a statement, Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady said:
Residents should continue to follow the recommended public health precautions to help contain the spread of the COVID-19 virus. In the meantime, Senate Republicans remain ready to return to Springfield in order to take up those critical issues that need to be addressed in a timely manner.