Illinois State Representatives Avery Bourne, Tim Butler, C.D. Davidsmeyer, and Mike Murphy held an Internet press conference yesterday asking for a more localized approach to reopening the state’s economy.
100th District Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer wants more of Governor J.B. Pritzker’s data about the COVID-19 virus cases. He says he is going to FOIA request the modeling data the governor is using to inform the metrics in his Restore Illinois plan. Davidsmeyer believes Pritzker isn’t giving the full picture: “I think we need access to any and all data that he is using. He just keeps using the word ‘science’ and I want to know what that science is. The only information that he is sharing is the number of deaths and the number of positive tests. He may be sharing the number of positive tests per day that are being done, but the increased number of people that are testing positive is a direct correlation with the number of tests that we are doing. I don’t think anybody is saying we shouldn’t be doing more testing and things of that sort; but what information is he getting from the Department of Public Health? What information is his epidemiologists giving him? At the end of the day, we do not have access.”
Davidsmeyer says the GOP is trying to obtain all the numbers to see what the governor is seeing: “We’ve worked with professors from the University of Illinois to try to get information, but this information should be readily available by the governor. If your facts support your actions, you should share your facts. That’s what I would lead with. If I’m making an argument, I would lead with the facts. The facts make the case.”
Davidsmeyer says if the governor uses the Illinois State Police as an enforcement mechanism of his executive orders, state troopers will be reluctant: “I believe that while the Director of the Illinois State Police may work for the governor, he has to listen to the governor – I believe the rank and file state police do not want to be the COVID police. They don’t want to be out there telling you that you have to wear a mask. They don’t want to be out there telling you that you have to stand 6 feet apart. They want you to do that on your own because that’s the right thing to do. Follow the CDC guidelines and we won’t have to worry about the State Police stepping in. The executive order – I think it has gone too far, but the State Police don’t want to step in. They don’t want to be the COVID police.”
Davidsmeyer and Springfield Representative Mike Murphy said during the video conference that they would not be signing House Speaker Michael Madigan’s pledge committing members who return to session to a series of precautions approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
Springfield Representative Tim Butler says that the governor’s Reopen Illinois plan is too slow and that many sections of the state are ready to reopen now: “The reason we are seeing so many communities, counties, and regions step forward is because the State of Illinois is passing up the governor on this. People want to save lives. Absolutely. People also want to save their livelihoods and get their communities back up and going again.”
Morrisonville Representative Avery Bourne says regional reopening plans aren’t just drawn on party lines: “There have been downstate Democrats, local officials across the state who have called for both local input, legislative input, a change to these regions, a quickening safely of the governor’s plan; and for the governor to dismiss any suggested changes to his plan as irresponsible or wanting to immediately open the economy I think is wrong.”
50th District State Senator Steve McClure added to the calls for the legislature to have a say in the Reopen Illinois plan with a press release later in the day by asking for public hearings about the plan.
McClure suggests the public hearings would provide Senate members the opportunity to hear from the governor’s advisors as well as hear from constituents on the effects of the pandemic and the effects on the economy that the stay-at-home order has brought.
McClure also said in his press release that he has concern about the governor’s shift from the 14-day decline of cases that other states are using versus the 28-day steady decline the governor is using in his own order.
McClure also joined House GOP members in questioning the governor’s reasoning in dividing the state into 4 large regions versus IPDH’s 11 emergency service regions.