State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb) wants Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker to consider a regional approach to reopening the state's economy.
Hammond said counties across central and southern Illinois have been holding discussions about how they can safely accomplish this. She said the governor should listen to their ideas, and she supports giving counties the authority to pull back if they experience a spike in COVID-19 infections.
“The people living in these counties understand what’s going on. They’re not approaching this from a podium in Chicago,” Hammond said during an online news conference.
“They are the boots on the ground in the counties. They have the ability to address it as they see fit.”
Hammond said she regularly speaks with administrators from hospitals, county health departments, and emergency management agencies in her legislative district. But she said she has not consulted with any of them specifically about the idea of reopening local economies.
Fellow representatives C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville) and Dan Ugaste (R-Geneva) also participated in the news conference.
All three said Republicans are ready to resume this year’s legislative session, and they believe Governor Pritzker should get approval from the legislature before issuing any further shelter-in-place declarations.
“The state legislature needs to be part of the decision-making process,” said Ugaste. “Any additional disaster proclamation by the governor needs the approval of both chambers of the legislature.”
Davidsmeyer added, “We believe that a separate but equal branch of government – the General Assembly – should have input in the direction of the state of Illinois.”
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