Illinois 1 of 10 states still under covid emergency powers

Illinois 1 of 10 states still under covid emergency powers

Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued his 37th COVID-19 disaster proclamation. Illinois is one of only 10 states living under an emergency order.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has issued his 37th COVID-19 disaster proclamation, extending his emergency powers through Jan. 5.

When it ends, Pritzker will have held emergency powers for 1,029 of 1,452 days in office, or 70% of his term.

None of Illinois’ neighboring states remain under emergency orders. Illinois is one of just 10 states nationwide still being ruled through emergency powers, with eight of the 10 led by Democratic governors.

New York was once the epicenter of COVID cases, but Gov. Kathy Hochul ended the disaster back in September.

“We’re in a different place now. We’ve been making announcements about taking masks off on public transportation. We have a new booster shot as of a few days ago,” Hochul said.

Under a disaster proclamation, Illinois can still request federal funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover costs related to COVID-19.

While West Virginia is still under an emergency order, Gov. Jim Justice announced his emergency powers will expire on Jan. 1, 2023.

Calling COVID-19 in Illinois a disaster has become routine enough that Pritzker didn’t issue a press release announcing the extension. Powers meant for emergency situations have become mundane.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lifted COVID-19 restrictions, saying they no longer recommend quarantining if exposed to someone who tests positive.

Pritzker could keep emergency powers for as long as he sees fit. The Illinois General Assembly – a coequal branch of state government – has no oversight into executive disaster orders.

Most states operate differently, with 34 giving their legislative bodies some form of control over the emergency powers. Arizona enacted a law requiring the legislature to approve emergency extensions beyond 120 days.

Unless the newest proclamation expires Jan. 5, Pritzker will carry emergency powers into his second term as governor.

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