SPRINGFIELD – State Representative Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) is reporting the passage of legislation he co-sponsored that restores the ability of friends and loved ones to visit residents of nursing homes and hospitals in the event of a public health emergency. Rep. Niemerg said Governor JB Pritzker’s rules during the COVID-19 pandemic unduly hurt families, residents, and patients.
“For almost two years, Governor Pritzker ruled Illinois through Executive Orders, limiting our freedom to gather for church, to work out at the gym, to eat at our favorite restaurants, and sadly, to visit with our loved ones in nursing homes and hospitals,” Niemerg said.
Niemerg says he heard heartbreaking stories throughout the pandemic of nursing home residents and patients in hospitals going months without seeing family members or friends.
“People living in residential nursing homes depend on visits to brighten their day, bring them necessary items, and to give them hope and something to look forward to. My heart broke for family members that couldn’t be there for their loved ones’ final moments, and for those residents and patients that languished for months on end with no visitors,” Niemerg said. “This bill allows one visitor and a member of clergy to visit residents and patients at a time in the event of a public health emergency. This is a common sense measure that I was proud to co-sponsor.”
The bill must now be voted on again by the Illinois Senate on a motion to concur with an amendment that was filed to the bill. Niemerg says he implores Gov. Pritzker to sign the measure when it hits his desk.
“The patients of our hospitals, the residents of our nursing homes and congregate care facilities and our nation’s veterans living in care deserve the ability to have a visitor,” Niemerg said. “The people of the State of Illinois should not have to die alone in a hospital bed, not having seen their family members. It is a shame that one person, the Governor, took that ability away with his burdensome and unconstitutional Executive Orders. Governor Pritzker needs to sign this bill and return a measure of dignity to people living through these circumstances.”