Representative CD Davidsmeyer said early yesterday that the COVID-19 pandemic is not a time to play politics. Davidsmeyer says he’s been in constant contact with Governor J.B. Pritzker’s office during the governor’s mandates and daily press conferences. He says Pritzker has been making executive decisions no one ever desires to make. “This is no time to play politics. This is no time to place blame. He’s making a lot of decisions that frankly nobody wants to make. I will say that the executive order talking about essential businesses or non-essential businesses is very broad. I hope that businesses will use this opportunity to take it upon themselves to make sure that only essential workers are going to work. If not, if this thing expands more, we’re going to have a greater reason for concern.”
Davidsmeyer says that their needs to be a way to find a balance on filing state income taxes. “Being realistic about it, it truly is a cash flow issue. Just like the governor said, the difference between the state and the federal government is the state government doesn’t have a printing press. Our already 7 and a half to 8 months in unpaid bills is just going to get kicked down the line. I think that if people can pay their taxes and can file their taxes, they need to do that; but we have to figure out a way to take away penalties for those who do not or are unable to file taxes right now during this national emergency. It’s a very difficult decision. I think some people will need [the extension] and others won’t. I have concern about people abusing it. If we do push it to July, people who can pay will wait until July.”
Davidsmeyer said that he thinks certain people are using the crisis to push through a political agenda. Davidsmeyer said that part of the play on politics has been the Governor’s constant blame of President Donald Trump’s actions during the pandemic. “At this point, we will worry about blame later. We need to be figuring out how to make this system work. The reality is there is not enough PPE, ventilators, and all of these other pieces of equipment out there for everybody. I do believe the state should be able to go out and purchase their own. They should be able to leverage current businesses and ask them if there is a way that they can help, whether it’s a material processing plant in the suburbs or wherever it may be. We need to be looking at these businesses and saying ‘What can you do to help alleviate the problem?.’ The other way to look at it is if the federal government did all of the purchasing and states bought into that [larger purchase], so you’re getting rid of price gouging. At that point, will the states and will the governor stop blaming the White House? No, because there is still not enough to go around.”
Davidsmeyer said that Attorneys General around the country should join forces to stop price gouging on PPE and other vital material to ensure that front line healthcare workers and EMS have the supplies they need to combat the virus. As of Sunday, in statistics released by the governor’s office, the state had only received between 3-10% of the inventory it has requested on various PPE categories from the federal government. Those sentiments were echoed during Governor Pritzker’s daily press conference yesterday after he announced a public-private partnership with companies in the state to make private purchases of PPE and equipment.