DECATUR — Area Illinois Representative Dan Caulkins is criticizing another extension of the state's disaster declaration by Gov. JB Pritzker, a 16th straight month of emergency declaration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“An emergency, by definition, is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation that requires immediate action. The Governor’s unending, unilateral orders are unacceptable and unhelpful,” Caulkins said.

“The ongoing management of COVID-19 is no longer an emergency situation. No other state in the nation is tolerating unending edicts from their Executive Office. The governor is completely ignoring the science and excluding those of us who are supposed to have a part in this decision-making process. I thought the legislature would have been called back to address these uncertainties. I would have lost a big bet on this.

“I join with my Republican colleagues in demanding that Governor Pritzker relinquish his stranglehold on the state of Illinois. We demand that he send issues regarding COVID management to the legislature, and allow school districts to make decisions that best suit the needs of their communities and the capacities of their local medical systems.

“We have elected representatives for a reason: To give the people a seat at the table. It is time to take back our seat. Pritzker needs to snap out of his power trip and let legislators do their jobs.”