Local Lawmakers React to Pritzker's "Restore Illinois" Plan

May 6, 2020

Credit State of IL

Local lawmakers say while they're pleased to have a better idea of Governor Pritzker's plans when it comes to the COVID-19 stay-at-home order, they also want to see more.

Pritzker laid out what a "Restore Illinois" plan on Tuesday, with five phases and a regional approach to reopening businesses and other areas in the state.

Southern Illinois lawmakers say they're glad to see a regional approach - something they've been suggesting for several weeks. Senator Paul Schimpf worked on a regionalized proposal, and says this one removes some of the uncertainty in the governor's previous plan.

Senator Dale Fowler has numerous concerns, though, saying southern Illinois businesses are still being hit hard by the restrictions. He's asking Pritzker to reconsider the 28-day timeline before regions can move to the next phase of the plan.

House members Terri Bryant, Dave Severin, and Patrick Windhorst also say they're glad to see a regional approach, but they also want a shorter time between phases. Each pointed out the differences between rural southern Illinois and the more densely-populated Chicago area, saying reopening could happen sooner in this area.

The lawmakers are also asking Governor Pritzker and Democratic leaders to call the legislature back into session to deal with COVID-19's impact, along with the state budget and other issues.