(The Center Square) – From allowing a slow rollout of elective medical procedures to face-covering requirements, to reopening state parks with social distancing guidelines, Illinois House Republicans are looking for changes to the governor’s stay-at-home order.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s order expires on April 30. He has said his office has been looking at making modifications to the order rather than lifting the order. He has said his office is not yet ready to release details about the changes to the order.
Illinois House Republicans held a virtual press video conference Wednesday to lay out what they want to see in any modified orders.
State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, has for weeks been urging for some more clear, and narrow stay home directors.
“Seniors who are at high risk should continue to stay isolated and utilize programs like my [Helping Hands] program that I started in my district,” Batinick said. “It should also become a requirement for all employees to wear face coverings inside stores and restaurants.”
State Rep. Tony McCombie, R-Savanna, said elective healthcare procedures must be allowed to return as “soon and as safely as possible.”
“This is a growing concern that life-saving cancer prevention screening services like mammograms, MRIs, colonoscopies are being delayed,” McCombie said. “Just this week on Friday as a matter of fact mine is canceled.”
State Rep. Dave Severin, R-Benton, said the state’s parks need to be reopened.
“We know that the state conservation police, they can be on duty to protect the areas, preserve and make sure that folks follow the social distancing,” Severin said.
State Rep. Ryan Spain, R-Peoria, said there should also be a soft opening for businesses like salons and clothing stores, and even drive up worship services.
“We believe that there should be allowances made for businesses to reopen as long as they can do so safely, so that’s social distancing requirements, use of masks, use of density controls for particular businesses,” Spain said.
Severin said businesses need to know what the path is going to be.
“That is very important that we get the information out so people can plan not just for staffing but how do they fill orders, how do they take those, who do they market to,” Severin said. “And so it’s quite a challenge and it just doesn’t happen overnight.”
McCombie said ultimately it’s up to personal responsibility if members of the public want to venture out to businesses allowed to reopen under any modified orders.
“If they’re not comfortable or if they are our most vulnerable or if they have health concerns, the certainty don’t have to go out and about into a business, nor should they,” McCombie said. “We have to still be smart as individuals.”
Asked when the governor’s order would cross the line, Peoria state Rep. Ryan Spain said the public and business community wants to see modifications to ease frustrations along the way.
“We have to show forward progress,” Spain said. “We can’t ignore the need for economic recovery while we at the same time continue to work to preserve the health and safety of the people of the state of Illinois.”
House Speaker Michael Madigan’s office said staff members continue to work with the governor’s office regarding modifications to the order with a focus on medical treatment, education and state and federal financial assistance.