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Local News

McDermed doesn't expect Democrats to challenge Pritzker's COVID-19 response

Says Pritzker is ‘hiding behind science’ in executive orders

State Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena
State Rep. Margo McDermed, R-Mokena

Even as the General Assembly heads back to Springfield this week, State Rep. Margo McDermed said she wants to “manage expectations” that Democrats will challenge the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

McDermed, R-Mokena, was one of several mostly Republican state legislators imploring the General Assembly to meet to address the pandemic. Republicans like McDermed have been especially critical of Gov. JB Pritzker’s handling of the crisis.

In an op-ed this week, she again criticized Pritzker for operating “unilaterally” by executive orders. She said he has not taken enough of a “multi-dimensional” approach to combat the virus while also preserving residents’ livelihoods.

“The governor and legislature are supposed to utilize science, but then create policy that weighs risks and outcomes,” McDermed wrote. “By hiding behind science, the governor can take the easy way out and avoid tough decisions.”

McDermed argued the General Assembly, as a co-equal branch of government, should also have input on the state’s decision making process.

Still, she said she wants to manage expectations and feared Democrats in the majority will vote to go along with Pritzker’s plans and grant him further executive discretion.

“Unfortunately, the Democrats who run Illinois have the votes to continue the status quo if they want to,” she wrote. “We all need to stand together and pressure legislators aligned with the governor, urging them to work with us to force changes to the governor’s policies.”

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