State, local leaders push back on Pritzker’s plan to reopen Illinois

Coronavirus

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. —  Ilinois Gov. JB Pritzker is facing pushback from state and local leaders on his plans to reopen the state.

Pritzker said his “Restore Illinois” plan is largely driven by science and data. But, he’s facing sharp criticism from Republican lawmakers who said his five-phase plan will be a detriment to the economy.

The plan divides the state into four regions, and advancements in each region will be based on COVID-19 infection rates, hospitalizations and ICU cases.

The state would not be fully restored until a vaccination or widely accepted treatment is available.

Some Illinois mayors said their cities have been lumped into regions with other largely populated cities, like Chicago — and that is negatively impacting their perceived progress when it comes to the virus.

“We’re just experiencing COVID at a different pace than Chicago is, Cook County is. They have a situation that’s causing them to experience this at a different pace so it’s not right or wrong it’s just different and different regions should be treated differently. And that’s the case I’ve been trying to make with the governor,” said Naperville Mayor Steve Chirico.

Republicans are again pushing for lawmakers to convene so both sides of the issues can be debated, discussed and then voted on, but House Speaker Mike Madigan said he’s not convinced it’s safe for lawmakers to do so.

Pritzker said the regional lines were drawn based on pre-existing regional healthcare resources.

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