Capitol Fax.com - Your Illinois News Radar » Pritzker thanks media, Illinois Republicans, explains his Trump comments; Still contemplating tax deadline extension; No “papers” required; Explains what needs to happen for order to end; Asked about rainy day fund; Explains who to call if employer is operating and shouldn’t be
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Pritzker thanks media, Illinois Republicans, explains his Trump comments; Still contemplating tax deadline extension; No “papers” required; Explains what needs to happen for order to end; Asked about rainy day fund; Explains who to call if employer is operating and shouldn’t be

Sunday, Mar 22, 2020

* Gov. Pritzker began his press conference today by thanking the media

Today marks the 14th of these daily briefings, two full weeks. So I want to start by saying how appreciative I am to the many members of the media, and to the public who tune in to these press conferences every single day, and help us to get the word out to the broader population of Illinois.

This also feels like an appropriate time to offer an apology to the woman who called my office this week angry that I’ve been interrupting the Bold and the Beautiful, and wanting to know that I too look forward to the days when we can get back to our regularly scheduled programming.

All kidding aside, getting accurate information disseminated and squashing irresponsible rumors is so critically important, as we waged the battle against COVID-19. So thank you to our residents, for sharing the information that I share, every day with your friends and your neighbors your family, and your social media networks. Thank you again to the reporters and the press who are continuing to do this work in such a difficult time.

* He went on to speak about President Trump…

One final thing. I refuse to spend more time on this than it deserves. So I want to quickly address Donald Trump’s tweet today before you asked me.

One of the things that’s been most heartening here in Illinois is the degree to which Republicans from all over our state have reached out to me to ask how they can help. Even people who have had profound political disagreements with me in the past have been among the first to call or text me asking what they could do to help Illinois in her hour of need.

When it comes to volunteerism and charity and stepping up in a crisis, Illinoisans of all political stripes are doing their part.

Now, I’m a pretty even-keeled guy. But even I’m finding it hard to contain my anger with Donald Trump’s response to this national crisis. I have doctors and nurses and first responders begging for masks, equipment and more tests. And I have a floor full of staff who are working day and night to hunt down the supplies that our healthcare workers and our first responders need, and the supplies we know they’re going to need.

We’re doing that because Donald Trump promised to deliver for all the states weeks ago. And so far has done very little.

So apparently the only way to get the President of the United States to pay attention is to go on national television and make noise about it, which I won’t stop doing until we get what we need. I said I would fight for the state and I will with every breath that I have and I meant it.

I said that the other day, that this is a time for serious people, not the carnival barkers that are tweeting from the cheap seats. All I can say is, get to work, or get out of the way.

This will be updated. And please pardon all typos because I’m using Otter for fast transcription.

* On to questions for the governor from the media. Will Illinois be extending the tax filing deadline..

I want you to know that we’re working hard to figure out how we can do that. You know there are challenges for the state of just cash flow right. I mean obviously we receive a lot of those revenues typically in April and they’re planned for spending related to those revenues that come in in April. So we’re trying to figure out whether there’s federal borrowing or federal help that will come down the pike that will help. I think there are a lot of states will have this kind of cash flow issue. If they extend their deadlines to July, I think is when the federal government did, but we are working on it . We think that’s an important thing for us to evaluate and then do something about

* Concerns about the health of older healthcare workers coming back to the profession, as Pritzker asked yesterday…

For those who are older, we certainly want people to take extra care. We wouldn’t want anybody who deems themselves to be at risk or falls into a high risk category to come into the healthcare profession and be exposed to COVID 19.

There are ways for healthcare professionals, even who are older, to participate and help us, and not be as exposed to COVID 19. In other words, there are a number of people who will be in hospitals or in health care centers that don’t have COVID 19 that simply are people who are heart attack victims or have some other condition that that need hospitalization. We’re trying to separate those people out from people who have covered 19, and make sure that we are serving both needs, but not spreading the virus. So, there will be and are places where one can work that are lower risk than just going into a hospital emergency room or serving COVID19 patients.

* We’re hearing a number of employers are giving essential employees documents akin to an affidavit for proving that they are indeed essential or law enforcement requiring this…

No, but let me be clear. You do not need to have papers or a permission from your employer, when nobody’s being stopped on the streets. And unless they are in fact seem to be directly violating the stay at home order in which case, a police officer or somebody else may just ask you please go home or are you in fact going to your job or going somewhere that is essential. Just to encourage people to do the right thing. So there’s no stopping people and asking for papers that’s going on.

* How will you measure how effective the stay home order is…

…One of the things that the doctors have said, the researchers have said is that after about eight or 10 days after the stay at home order’s put in place, we may begin to see the increase in the number of cases reported start to diminish their acceleration. Let’s say, instead of being exponential, maybe they’ll be growing at only a geometric level.

And remember these numbers will grow even after we may have slowed this significantly. They will grow because of more testing being available. We’ll be able to test more and more people know exactly who has it. But we may begin to see and this is up to the statistician and the modelers, we may begin to see it, a bending of this curve, you know, even after less than two weeks and so that’s why we wanted to put this in place for long enough to be able to see what effect we’re having. And we’ll watch it very closely. I mean I want very much as everybody else does, to begin to go back to normal as soon as possible. But let me tell you what the most important thing is that needs to happen. And it’s something that’s a little out of all of our control. But it is in the hands of the tremendous researchers that are here in in Illinois in Chicago, many of them in Champaign, and also all across the United States and the world. And that’s they’re researching treatments and therapies, and they’re getting closer.

There are two or three that have been in trials even now, one of which seems more effective than others but we won’t really know until we get the full results of those tests but the truth is that we’re going to rely upon them to help us with treatments. Once we get treatments I think all of us will feel a little bit of relief that we know that we can save lives. We know that we may be able to, you know, bend this curve, even more. And then of course finally getting a vaccine to protect people entirely from it will be the most important thing we can do

* How much money are we taking out of the state’s rainy day fund to help medical facilities and testing centers…

So I think many of you know that the state for many years didn’t have much of a rainy day fund. And I want to say that we’ve worked hard. So far I’ve been in office now 15 months and we’ve worked hard to look at ways that we could build up that rainy day fund.

Well now as you can imagine in this crisis, there’s no way to build up that fund it’s a very very small fund in the state of Illinois.

Having said that, all the states in the United States need help from the federal government. That’s why you’ve seen in some of these stimulus packages for example support for unemployment benefits, unemployment insurance. As one example but we’re all going to need help with our state budgets because revenues are declining in every state as we have had to slow things down to keep people at home. But also we’ve seen an increase in expenditures because we have social services that we want to make sure we’re providing for people who may be suffering economically, financially from this virus, so we have a lot of needs I would say that we can’t meet with a rainy day fund in our state. And so we’re going to do everything that we can to meet those needs no matter what

* Is there some where people can call to denounce if their place of employment is open and they don’t think it should be…

I would encourage people to call the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. We have a hotline where people can find out if their business does in fact meet the requirements of an essential business operation in the executive order.

-30-

- Posted by Rich Miller        

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