Outdoor dining

NAPERVILLE – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) urges area residents to support local bars and restaurants, following Gov. Pritzker’s decision to allow restaurants and bars to have on-site dining in outside seating areas during Phase 3 of his Restore Illinois plan.

“This pandemic has impacted nearly every area of our state and local economies, restaurants and bars in particular,” Ellman said. “Help your favorite local eateries recover from this pandemic by patronizing their outdoor seating areas.”

Since Gov. Pritzker’s first executive order was implemented on March 21, dine-in service at restaurants and bars has been prohibited in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Last week, the governor announced that all Illinois restaurants and bars will be allowed to resume on-site service dining in outdoor seating areas on May 29.

“I’m pleased to see the governor decide to allow restaurants and bars to reopen some dine-in service during Phase 3 of his plan,” Ellman said. “If you do go out to eat, please be careful and follow all of the relevant health precautions. If we all work together, we can continue to fight COVID-19 while returning to a more normal way of life.” ​

Ellman does want to remind residents to still consider the risks to themselves or other people in their households if they do decide to expand their activities.

I see the fires in Aurora and Chicago, and this afternoon downtown Naperville is temporarily closing up in response to potentially violent protests. Reports of looting and mayhem, possibly instigated by provocateurs and opportunists and fueled by pent-up frustration, should not distract us from the important work ahead of us. George Floyd’s murder under the knee of a policeman and the COVID-19 outbreak have laid bare an issue that has always been here: racial disparity in America.

Inequities exist in every aspect of American life, including job access, obtaining a quality education, access to food, housing, health care, and unfair treatment by police and courts. In DuPage County, the case rate for COVID-19 is 2.3 times higher for African Americans than white residents, and the morality rate is 1.7 times higher. No camera has been there as witness, but it’s real and it’s heartbreaking.

People of color suffer in Illinois, oppression stops when the oppressor stops. To the African American community, I hear you, I see you and I commit to joining you in the fight to end systematic racism. Do not let rhetoric and misinformation divide us in protecting basic rights for all. Demand the best from your schools, police, community and representatives. Demand it from me.

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SPRINGFIELD - Last week, State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) and the Illinois Senate reconvened in Springfield to pass the state budget after a nearly three months of cancelations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There’s no doubt that these were unusual circumstances under which to pass a state budget,” Ellman said. “We came together as a governing body and passed a responsible budget.”

Ellman emphasized a provision in the budget that expanded the eligibility of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program through June 2021. LIHEAP is a program to assist low income households who are struggling with their utility bills.

“This pandemic has effected all of us, but it’s more likely to affect the financial security of those who are already having trouble paying their bills,” Ellman said. “Expanding the eligibility for this program was a necessary step to make sure that those who are already struggling don’t fall though the cracks.”

Ellman also highlighted that with this budget, the state is committed to maintaining and making full pension payments, as well as holding the line for K-12 and higher education funding.

“We have a responsibly to hold up our end of the bargain and continue to maintain the state’s pension payments and education funding,” Ellman said. “Now more than ever, it is absolutely imperative that we provide confidence for our students and educators in these uncertain times.”

In addition, this year’s budget fully funds the Local Government Distributive Fund. The fund provides local governments with a share of the state’s income tax revenue and will help them make up for budget shortfalls caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Senate Bill 264 passed the full Senate with a vote of 37-19-0.

“What the General Assembly accomplished this week is just a start. We did what was needed to begin moving forward,” Ellman said. “Make no mistake, there’s still a lot of work to be done, but I believe if we continue to come together as a state, we can tackle this challenge, and when we do, we will be stronger for it.”

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SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Laura Ellman (D-Naperville) released the following statement after the Illinois Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget:

“There’s no doubt that these were unusual circumstances under which to pass a state budget. We came together as a governing body and passed a responsible budget.”

“What we accomplished this week is just a start. We did what was needed to begin moving forward. Make no mistake, there’s still a lot work to be done, but I believe if we continue to come together as a state, we can tackle this challenge, and when we do, we will be stronger for it.”

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District Office
552 S. Washington, Suite 104
Naperville, IL 60540
Phone: (630) 453-5488

Springfield Office
M122 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-8192