SPRINGFIELD – Illinois lawmakers will return to Springfield next week for the first time in more than two months to take up a state budget and other critical matters while following strict social distancing and public safety guidelines.
During a teleconference caucus meeting Wednesday, House Democrats were told the special session will run from Wednesday, May 20, through Friday, May 22.
Before returning to the capital, lawmakers are being asked to sign a pledge stipulating they will be tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have symptoms or have been previously infected. They will also be required to wear face coverings, undergo temperature checks on session days, travel alone and stay in separate hotel rooms, follow social distancing guidelines and avoid extracurricular activities.
The House will meet in the Bank of Springfield Center, a convention center a few blocks from the Statehouse. The Senate plans to meet in the Senate chamber of the Capitol.
Security at the BoS Center will be provided by the Illinois State Police and all people entering the building will be required to pass through a metal detector to prevent weapons from being carried into the facility. All people will also be required to wear face coverings and submit to a touchless temperature check. Anyone with a temperature of more than 100 degrees will be required to leave.
Lawmakers have not met since March 5. They were scheduled to be off the week of March 10-14 to campaign in advance of the March 17 primary. All session days since then have been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.