Two years and 100+ executive orders into the pandemic, is there an end in sight?

March 9, 2022 marked two years since Gov. Pritzker issued his first disaster declaration in response to COVID-19, allowing him to impose sweeping emergency powers free of legislative input and oversight. Since then, he has re-issued his disaster declaration approximately every 30 days as a way to skirt the 30-day limit on declared disasters imposed through the Emergency Management Agency Act.

I continue to advocate for the reining-in of Gov. Pritzker’s powers, and have co-sponsored legislation that renews Senate Republicans’ calls that the Governor receive General Assembly approval before an emergency declaration is extended past 30 days. Senate Bill 3888 was filed in January of this year and has languished in the Senate Assignments Committee.

During the last two years, Gov. Pritzker has issued over 100 executive orders, a milestone nobody is celebrating. The orders have created chaos, confusion, and devastation. Some of the Governor’s failures throughout the pandemic include:

  • Arbitrary closures and regulations that have stacked the deck in favor of large corporates over the small businesses that serve as the backbone of Illinois’ local economies;
  • A slower economic recovery rate than other states, with Illinois ranking 48th in the nation, and Illinois posting the 10th highest unemployment numbers in the nation according to data from December, 2021;
  • A dysfunctional Illinois Department of Employment Security that allowed for an alarming amount of fraud, while real claimants were left waiting weeks for earned benefits or even a call back;
  • A deadly COVID-19 outbreak at the LaSalle Veterans Home that claimed the lives of 36 veterans after it took his Department of Public Health nearly two weeks to do an on-site visit after the outbreak was reported;
  • Not prioritizing the most vulnerable populations during the vaccine rollout; and
  • Student academic and achievement declines across the state.


Recently, the Illinois court system and the bipartisan and bicameral Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR), a committee on which I sit, both rebuffed the governor’s abuse of his emergency powers.