Many in this community believe the Quad-Cities is joined, not separated, by a river. But that notion is being put to the test now.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker are pulling the Quad-Cities in opposite directions with their responses to the coronavirus.
That’s been clear for weeks, but perhaps no more so than with Reynolds’ decision to move to reopen the state for business, albeit with some restrictions. Meanwhile, Pritzker is holding fast to his order that Illinoisans stay at home, at least for now. He did say on Thursday that all the regions in the state are poised to move to the next phase of his reopening plan by May 29, and he urged people to hold on.
"I mean, literally we're talking about 14 days,” he said.
That may not be feasible. It is clear that patience with his restrictions is wearing thin in parts of Illinois. In some counties, businesses and residents, as well as local government officials, are revolting against the limitations – so much so that the governor has threatened to withhold funding from areas that do not comply.
Meanwhile, legislative Republicans want to vet the governor’s plan at a public hearing.
The governor has resisted that idea, but we think it should go ahead.
We have supported the significant actions taken to contain this virus, and Pritzker is right to be worried that Illinois is not out of the woods yet. It is true that many parts of the state don’t have the same level of infection as those in and around Chicago, and this must be considered. But we also know this is a mobile state and as such, there are risks that the virus could get out of control.
Still, legislators have been sitting on the sidelines for weeks, and they need to play a role in managing this pandemic. As we say, we have our doubts how long the current situation, with the governor calling all the shots, can continue to hold.
Pritzker needs to share some of the responsibility with the legislature, including minority Republicans.
In the end, we hope all sides keep their eye on ensuring that this virus, which is a grave threat to the public health and the economy, is brought under control and its spread is contained as much as possible.
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