Despite Illinois’ Governor J.B. Pritzker’s extended stay-at-home order and his give-phase regional plan to reopen Illinois, several countries in central and southern Illinois are preparing to issue their own plans to reopen their economies. Since March 21, numerous nonessential deemed business-such as small business retailers or dine-in restaurants, salons and gyms – have been closed to the public.
The Governors’ most recent stay-at-home order runs through May 30. Pritzker has released his Restore Illinois” plan that has the state in Phase 2 of a five-phase plan this week. The final phase only comes about if there’s a vaccine, widely available treatment for COVID-19 or herd immunity. The board of health in Madison County will set to vote Friday on a phased-in approach to “Return To Normal” amid COVID-19 concerns.
State Rep. Chris Miller, R-Oakland, said Clark County Board members on Friday are prepared to approve their “Return to Work Recommended Guidelines.” Miller said, “The last thing that they’re interested in is having a Chicago billionaire who doesn’t have a clue about rural Illinois and how it functions to tell them what to do and I think part of this resolution is just frustration from his lack of willingness to listen to what we’re telling him and to make an adjustment.”
Pritzker’s orders will face some resistance as local elected officials in Clark, Kankakee, Douglas and other counties have said they won’t enforce or won’t be strict in enforcing the orders. State Rep. Darren Bailey was asked if he thinks the tide is turning. “Oh yes, it is,” Bailey said. “I think most of our communities down here have simply stated that. The restaurants that have opened in our area, they’re doing so responsibly.”
Pritzker has threatened that if his orders are disobeyed by businesses, their state licenses would be revoked. In Winnebago County, attorney Austin Scott Davies believes enforcing the governor’s orders without due process violates the law. “Why can those big businesses open safely and not have to shut down when the other businesses are being shut down, it doesn’t make sense,” Davies said. “I believe that is a violation of due process.”