Illinois lawmakers are attempting to pass legislation to limit government in their ability to confiscate property from business owners and citizens during state emergencies like the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Senator William E. Brady, the Illinois Minority leader in the state senate, introduced legislation on Wednesday that will reportedly limit the governor’s right to confiscate property from business owners .
Senator Brady is a Republican.
According to the proposed legislation SB3993 the government will set “safe place of business protocols” for businesses to follow to reopen.
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The protocols include:
The protocols shall include:
(1) customer density limits based on business facilities’ square footage and appropriate social distancing;
(2) face covering requirements for employees; and
(3) regular cleaning regimens.
(d) The Department shall publish additional protocols for specific customer-facing businesses as necessary.
(e) A business that complies with the protocols may reopen and rehire staff at its discretion as soon as is practical.
(f) A hospital or other healthcare facility that abides by the protocols and is located in a Region with adequate intensive care unit capacity may offer the full spectrum of inpatient and outpatient care and treatment to its patients.
The Department shall conduct a public information campaign to explain hospitals’ and healthcare facilities’ safety protocols and to urge patients not to put off any necessary care.
(g) A day care center, as that term is defined under Section 2.09 of the Child Care Act of 1969, may reopen or expand its capacity at its discretion and as soon as is practical if it complies with the protocols.
The legislation then goes on to describe how the Illinois governor can confiscate personal property during a state emergency.
(20 ILCS 3305/7) (from Ch. 127, par. 1057)
Sec. 7. Emergency Powers of the Governor.
(4) On behalf of this State to take possession of, and to acquire full title or a lesser specified interest in, any personal property as may be necessary to accomplish the objectives set forth in Section 2 of this Act, including: airplanes, automobiles, trucks, trailers, buses, and other vehicles; coal, oils, gasoline, and other fuels and means of propulsion; explosives, materials, equipment, and supplies; animals and livestock; feed and seed; food and provisions for humans and animals; clothing and bedding; and medicines and medical and surgical supplies; and to take possession of and for a limited period occupy and use any real estate necessary to accomplish those objectives; but only upon the undertaking by the State to pay just compensation therefor as in this Act provided, and then only under the following provisions:
a. The Governor, or the person or persons as the Governor may authorize so to do, may forthwith take possession of property for and on behalf of the State; provided, however, that the Governor or persons shall
SB3993 – 5 – LRB101 21409 CPF 72043 b
simultaneously with the taking, deliver to the owner or his or her agent, if the identity of the owner or agency is known or readily ascertainable, a signed statement in writing, that shall include the name and address of the owner, the date and place of the taking, description of the property sufficient to identify it, a statement of interest in the property that is being so taken, and, if possible, a statement in writing, signed by the owner, setting forth the sum that he or 0 she is willing to accept as just compensation for the property or use. Whether or not the owner or agent is known or readily ascertainable, a true copy of the statement shall promptly be filed by the Governor or the person with the Director, who shall keep the docket of the statements. In cases where the sum that the owner is willing to accept as just compensation is less than $1,000, copies of the statements shall also be filed by the Director with, and shall be passed upon by an Emergency Management Claims Commission, consisting of 3 disinterested citizens who shall be appointed by the Governor, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, within 20 days after the Governor’s declaration of a disaster, and if the sum fixed by them as just compensation be less than $1,000 and is accepted in writing by the owner, then the State Treasurer out of funds appropriated for these purposes, shall, upon certification thereof by the Emergency Management Claims Commission, cause the sum so certified forthwith to be paid to the owner. The Emergency Management Claims Commission is hereby given the power to issue appropriate subpoenas and to administer oaths to witnesses and shall keep appropriate minutes and other records of its actions upon and the disposition made of all claims.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce contacted The Gateway Pundit this morning. They stress the proposed legislation limits the governor’s powers. Thebill limits the powers to confiscate property by the governor. SB 3993 simply prohibits Illinois governors from extending their emergency powers beyond 30 days without the consent of the elected assembly.
The law DOES NOT add any powers to the governor to declare a state of emergency or add any additional powers during an emergency. Any powers listed in the bill are current law and have been law for a number of years. SB 3993 serves as a legislative check on the power of the Governor by prohibiting extensions of an Emergency Order without the approval of the Illinois General Assembly. This will hopefully help restore the system of checks and balances so necessary for the proper functioning and oversight of government.
If you click on this version of the legislation you will see that the current law is in regular text and the additions (SB 3993) are underlined.