Senate Republicans continue their calls to have all state offices reopen, especially the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), which continues to remain closed despite Illinois officially moving into Phase 5 of the reopening plan.
Senate Republican lawmakers argue that these state agencies provide critical services to the men and women of Illinois, and the prolonged closure of these agencies is becoming increasingly frustrating to Illinoisans.
While some state offices, such as the Illinois Secretary of State, have resumed full operations, others such as IDES remain inexplicably shuttered. Senator Fowler notes that this is creating confusion for residents and is adding unnecessary barriers to receiving state services.
IDES, which handles issues with unemployment benefits for employees throughout the state, has been closed for almost 500 days and continues to be criticized for fraud issues, the slow response time, and the backlog of unaddressed claims.
Senate Republicans argue that as the entire private sector is back open for business, there is no excuse for state offices to not be fully opened and operational.