Voice of The Southern: Illinois Legislature needs to figure out how to meet amid pandemic

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The state’s dismal financial situation, which has certainly gotten worse with reduced revenues during the pandemic.

Reasonable redistricting.

The recent developments at the Illinois Veterans’ Home in LaSalle, where more than 200 people in the home have contracted the coronavirus and 28 veterans have died.

Why has the Illinois Legislature been on paid vacation since before Memorial Day?

Article IV, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution says sessions of each house of the General Assembly must be open to the public unless two-thirds of the members vote to close them. Another state law says legislative sessions must be held “in the seat of government,” which is Springfield.

That statute also says the governor may convene a session “at some other place when it is necessary, in case of pestilence or public danger.” While COVID-19 certainly applies to that, a spokesman for Senate President Don Harmon told Capitol News Illinois “some other place” would most likely be interpreted to mean some other physical location. In many ways, an online meeting could be more accessible to public viewing than making them travel to “some other place” or even Springfield.

Legislators had the opportunity to vote on changes in May, when they met at the Bank of Springfield convention center, allowing for social distancing. But the fall veto session was canceled without any effort to solve the meeting problem.

Region: Southern,Editorial,City: Carbondale,Region: Carbondale,Opinion

via thesouthern.com – RSS Results in opinion/editorial of type article https://ift.tt/2L723SH

December 4, 2020 at 12:15PM

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