SPRINGFIELD (The Center Square) – Businesses looking to partially reopen in Illinois later this month per Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s reopening plan amid COVID-19 concerns may not get the guidance they need to be in time to be in compliance if their region enters the next phase of the governor’s reopening plan.
Pritzker’s five-phase plan to reopen the state’s economy has the state in Phase 2. Phase 3 could be possible at the end of the month with more businesses allowed to open with restrictions in place.
State Rep. Tim Butler (R-Springfield) said businesses are ready to open while protecting the health of their clientele, but they’re not getting any clarity from the governor.
“They want to follow social distancing,” Butler said. “They want to get [personal protective equipment] so they can open their salons, things like that. But, No. 1, they’re not getting any guidance or help from the governor in doing this and for some of these people to wait until June or July or August or September to be able to open again, they’re going to be out of business.”
“So all of that is being worked on now, and we’ll certainly … over the next two weeks or so be releasing the information that’s useful to people in each and every one of those industries,” Pritzker said.
The governor said his administration has been talking with industry leaders.
“We’ve also asked industry to provide us with their best ideas about how to keep patrons and their employees safe,” Pritzker said.
State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Raymond) said the governor also needs to listen to lawmakers. She said there’s growing bipartisan concern regarding his reopening plan. Most of the state should already be moving through to Phase 3 of the governor’s plan, she said.
“That May 29 is an arbitrary date that’s set by his own political calculations of his executive order,” Bourne said.
Others at the statehouse are demanding hearings on the governor’s plan when they return for the first time during the crisis next week.
Reporting by Greg Bishop
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