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*** UPDATED x2 - Governor’s office responds *** Durkin expands special session call to face-mask issue

Friday, Aug 7, 2020

* Press release…

Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin released the following statement regarding Governor Pritzker’s proposal of new emergency rules regarding mask wearing:

“Today, I am calling on Governor Pritzker to abandon his ‘mask rule’ and work with the legislature on this issue. I am committed to respecting his priorities while recognizing the undue hardship his current rule places on businesses that are already struggling across Illinois. To do this, the Governor should immediately call the legislature into special session where we can also address the urgent need for ethics reform and the controversies surrounding the Democratic Party and Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.”

Again, it’s already in state statute that violating any IDPH rule is a misdemeanor. The only difference with this newly proposed rule is that it exempts individuals and creates a three-step process before an entity can be charged if the local state’s attorney even goes along.


*** UPDATE 1 *** Jordan Abudayyeh in the governor’s office…

As I’m sure Leader Durkin is aware, Illinois reported a high number of new COVID cases again today, similar to numbers we saw near the height of the wave of cases last spring. We have learned that quick and decisive action needs to be taken to stop the spread of this deadly virus. In the spring session the administration withdrew emergency rules after the General Assembly said they would take up this critical issue during session. Leader Durkin and his colleagues in the General Assembly failed to vote on any enforcement that protects the health and safety of Illinoisans, indeed many of his caucus members railed against any legal measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19. So as promised, the administration has introduced a new rule incorporating feedback from lawmakers and stakeholders like the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois Restaurant Association. Existing public health rules allow the State to take action to stop the spread of infectious diseases like whooping cough, measles and many others and should include COVID-19. The only difference now is that there is a loud super-minority playing politics with public health. We can only prevent the spread of COVID-19 by working together to do what’s right, and the Governor urges the members of JCAR to protect the health and safety of the public.

…Adding… The administration may have incorporated “feedback” from IRMA, but the group is opposed to this rule

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association says the state’s enforcement actions should target individuals who do not comply with mask mandates and other public health guidelines… rather than, quote, “demonizing innocent businesses.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Rob Karr with IRMA told me the Abudayyeh statement is “not accurate.” He did get a call yesterday, but he was never actually given any language by the governor’s office and was never asked for any input from them.

…Adding… I’m told the input the governor’s office received from IRMA came via two JCAR members.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - 47th Ward - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:36 pm:

    For a political party with no money to highlight Madigan’s ComEd problem, a special session is like a free info-mercial for Durkin.

  2. - Socially DIstant watcher - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:44 pm:

    What 47 said. Their only paths to relevance are raise a bunch of money or get a special session.

    It’s a shame they couldn’t've gotten more to build on during the Spring session than Rep. No-Mask’s little tantrum. Play the cards you’re dealt better and you won’t have to beg for a redeal.

  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:44 pm:

    ===To do this, the Governor should immediately call the legislature into special session where we can also address the urgent need for ethics reform and the controversies surrounding the Democratic Party and Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.”===

    With great respect to Leader Durkin. Sincerely.

    Cobble 60 members to sign your letter and to demand the House should, at least, convene to handle the ethics and Madigan issues.


    Well, otherwise this is “Fire Madigan, 6.0”, co-starring “Mask or No Mask” silly of his own caucus.

    Leader Durkin,

    Make it bipartisan, thoughtful, honest to process, and make it count.


  4. - Touré's Latte - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:45 pm:

    Whoa, easy there, Jim. Legislating mask wearing emergency rules does not mean grandstanding ComEd related ethics reforms.

  5. - Northsider - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:46 pm:

    Pritzker’s fighting the pandemic and Republicans are fighting … Pritzker.

    Got it.

  6. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:49 pm:

    Oh. Why did I type the above?

    Durkin’s own caucus had folks voting “for” the mask rule in the “Chamber”, then had some of those *same* caucus members refuse to vote against Bailey.

    So… what are we really talking about? Politics? Phony angst to mask and fines to try to make it “because… Madigan”?

    Should we list the Raunerites who voted for the mask rule yet wouldn’t vote against Bailey?


    They know who they are.

    Probably why I wrote this;

    “Make it bipartisan, thoughtful, honest to process, and make it count.“


  7. - Annonin' - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:49 pm:

    The Durkie think tank where inconsistent ideas go for “refinement” Remember he voted for a mask bill.
    Kinda like votin’ for ComEd before ….

  8. - Back to the Future - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 12:52 pm:

    It looks like Leader Durkin is doing what he can do to deal with corruption and ethics issues. Good for him.
    Team Pritzker and Team Madigan are doing nothing. Not good for them.

  9. - Leigh John-Ella - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 1:06 pm:

    Would you want Rep Bailey around you right now?

  10. - Norseman - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 1:34 pm:

    Just say no to Durkin. Durkin and the GOP is doing nothing and proposing nothing that helps us out of the pandemic. It would be criminal to spend taxpayer money on a unnecessary special session for the GOP’s political games.

  11. - Pot calling kettle - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 2:12 pm:

    ==the undue hardship his current rule places on businesses that are already struggling across Illinois==

    Leader Durkin, please explain how requiring customers and employees to wear a mask is an “undue hardship.”

    Masks are now widely available and inexpensive and they reduce transmission of a disease that has been devastating the economy because people concerned for their health are avoiding places where they might catch said disease.

    So, please, before we call the legislators back for an expensive special session, let’s have the details on how requiring masks is an “undue hardship.”

  12. - VerySmallRocks - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 2:31 pm:

    Durkin and the other Republicans should just have their own little session up at Sturgis, South Dakota, where 1/4 million bikers will cavort for nine days, mostly maskless. It’ll feel like heaven to them. Just don’t bother coming back.

  13. - Liandro - Friday, Aug 7, 20 @ 4:39 pm:

    “but he was never actually given any language by the governor’s office and was never asked for any input from them”

    …to be fair, Jordan didn’t say it was “only” the super-minority that is playing politics with public health…

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