Illinois Reopening: Gov. Pritzker rebuffs Phase 4 reopening push by IL Republican lawmakers

Jessica D'Onofrio Image
Thursday, June 11, 2020
Orland Park mayor calls on Pritzker to move state into Phase 4 of reopening
More than a dozen Republican lawmakers and the mayors of some Illinois cities are pushing Governor JB Pritzker to speed up Illinois' reopening.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- More than a dozen state Republican lawmakers are pushing Governor JB Pritzker to speed up Illinois' reopening.

Governor Pritzker has responded by saying politics should not guide public health decisions and that he won't speed up his re-opening plan for the state.

Wednesday, Illinois Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady of Bloomington and several colleagues, sent a letter to Pritzker stating their constituents don't understand why they can't re-open their businesses more fully while thousands gathered in public places to legally protest.

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The governor was seen participating in one of those marches.

The letter urges Pritzker to change his plan and adopt a 14-day timeline between phases rather than the 28-day timeline currently in place. If that happened, Illinois could move into Phase Four on Friday. But the governor won't budge.

"This pandemic, this COVID-19 isn't anything anyone expected or knew how to deal with when it hit but in Illinois, what we've done the right way is rely upon the science, rely upon the experts. You wouldn't want political decisions being made here about public health," Pritzker said.

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In a tweet, Brady says: "We continue to hear from our constituents, those not protesting but who remain worried their businesses, their livelihoods and their communities remain at continued economic risk due to the restrictions in place resulting from COVID-19. It is time to move Illinois into Phase 4."

Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau is also advocating to lift additional restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus by Friday saying the health of local businesses depend on it. For instance restaurants are able to open their patios but not indoor dining.

"In order for them to actually survive, they need the combination of both and just outdoor alone is not enough for them," Pekau said.

Mayor Pekau says Orland Park has a 6.9 percent positivity rate over the last 14 days which he says is declining rapidly.

"Everybody that I've seen that's an expert says we should be using 14 days," he said. "Why are we using 28?

Right now, the earliest the state could move into the Phase Four, which would allow for indoor dining at restaurants and gatherings of up to 50 people, among other things, is June 26. Governor Pritzker said he is sticking to that.

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