House Republicans Propose Strategies to Safely Re-Open Illinois’ Economy

Illinois House Republicans discussed an array of proposals and ideas on ways to safely re-open Illinois during the coronavirus pandemic. Some of these proposals include a safe, responsible re-opening of hospital systems, essential retail operations resuming online or curbside pick-up and the re-opening of state parks.

State Rep. Mark Batinick has been a vocal advocate for increasing the use of personal protective equipment. With safety in mind, Batinick says it is time to revise current restrictions and make plans for a first-phase reopening of Illinois’ economy.

“This is a critical time in our fight against COVID-19,” Batinick said. “We believe we can reopen some parts of our economy with a focus on protecting the health and safety of Illinoisans. There are items in the governor’s orders we feel can be changed in the event of a new disaster declaration that will help some employers get back to business.”

State Rep. Ryan Spain says many businesses shuttered by the governor’s orders can reopen soon by following certain guidelines.

“After weeks of hearing from struggling employers and employees, we feel there are common sense and responsible steps our state can take so Illinois residents can buy the things they need and get the services they need in a safe and healthy environment,” Spain said. “In addition to online ordering and curbside pickup, many businesses can utilize social distancing, face coverings, and density restrictions to operate in a responsible manner. We need to begin the safe economic recovery for Illinois as soon as possible.”

State Rep. Tony McCombie weighed in on the decision to suspend all ‘elective’ medical procedures at Illinois hospitals.

“Illinoisans across the state are not able to receive standard and necessary care, like cancer preventative screening services,” McCombie said. “In some parts of Illinois, hospitals and healthcare organizations have stabilized and need to provide access to vital health services. If the governor extends his disaster declaration, we are strongly advocating he revise his orders on non-COVID-19 related medical care.”

State Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) said he believes the state can safely reopen state parks and recreational facilities following proper social distancing guidelines.

“We feel that we can open our parks, monitor them using conservation police and park staff, and allow Illinoisans to enjoy outdoor activities,” Severin said. “Camping, hiking, golfing, hunting, fishing…these are all activities that folks can do while maintaining a great deal of distance from other people. Following guidance from the White House and the governor, we feel we can reopen Illinois using a regional approach. We are not advocating for an ‘all-at-once’ reopening, but we can get started moving in the right direction very quickly if we can get the governor to agree.”  

Watch the entire press conference here: